Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sanibel Sunday: January 13, 2019


Almost noon... an early three-mile beach walk, lentil soup in the slow cooker (a new recipe), and blueberry ricotta cake in the oven. My father-in-law will be over for dinner a little later, but I'm hoping to slip in some reading time once I finish this blog post. Another Sanibel Sunday...


Finished last week//

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

This book has made the rounds. Care mailed it to me last summer. It's been with me on vacation to Maine and Massachusetts, to NYC visiting my daughters, and now it's here in Florida, where I finally got around to reading it!

It's about a family living on New York City's Upper West Side and their daily lives... friends, neighbors, his ex, house guests, meals, activities, etc. Though not a lot actually happens. The 50-something husband, Graham, seems fairly normal but his second, much younger, wife Audra is a hoot. She basically has no filter and will talk to anybody about anything. Their son (around twelve) has Asperger's Syndrome and is currently fixated on origami.

 The book is funny, yet insightful, loving, and painfully real. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and Heiny's writing. Here are a few of the passages I marked:
"You didn't know then that having a child with special needs would seep into every part of your life, like rain through topsoil." 
"Life forced you to cope. Life wore down all your sharp corners with its tedious grinding on, the grinding that seemed to take forever but was actually as quick as a brushfire." 
"I'm beginning to believe... that there is just too much love loose in the world. Too much love with nowhere to go." 
"He would do it because that was what you did when you loved someone. You kept pushing until you broke on through to the other side, as Jim Morrison may have said. Only Morrison didn't add that on the other side, you found another obstacle and had to keep pushing. Forever."
A solid 4-star read. Thanks, Care!


Current reading//




Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart
I'm slowly working my way through this very comprehensive biography... listening to the audiobook on my morning walk and reading the (heavy) hardcover in the afternoon. My respect for RBG increases with every page!



Grand Hotel by Vicki Baum

I bought this book last month in NYC. It's difficult to find NYRB Classics anywhere else and I was tempted to stock up, but limited myself to just one. This is my "in translation" selection for the Back to the Classics Challenge and is off to a strong start.



In the kitchen//

Three new recipes to share this week:



Also this week, we visited the new Whole Foods in Fort Myers - twice! The produce was the best we've seen down here... I'm used to Wegmans quality. Their chicken and lamb was also outstanding. I may not make it over there every week, but I sure will try.


How was your week? What are you reading?

43 comments:

  1. I love Whole Foods! I have Standard Deviation on my tbr list at the library.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicki - I think I'm going to enjoy shopping at Whole Foods... a new experience for me! Hope you like Standard Deviation, too.

      Delete
  2. I hadn't heard of Standard Deviation but love the quotes you chose. I downloaded the hefty RBG Bio but, haven't started it yet, I may wait for a road trip as I think we'd both enjoy it. (Wishing that amazing lady a speedy recovery). I also own a copy of Grand Hotel (unread). I collect NYBR copies and like, Europa Editions, I just love the quality of these imprints. Have a wonderful week.


    I love your Sanibel Sunday updates, I feel like I'm on vacation too LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane - So glad you enjoy these posts! They're the most fun to write. Standard Deviation was an unexpectedly good read, and I've heard that the audio version is excellent, too. The RBG bio would be good for a long road trip. It's much more detailed than Notorious RBG and definitely holding my attention. Wish there were more bookstores around that carried NYRB Classics and Europa!

      Delete
  3. I think I'd like Standard Deviation.

    I have great respect for RBG as well - she's a national treasure!

    I printed out the chicken recipe and look forward to trying it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - I just read that the author of Standard Deviation drew inspiration from Anne Tyler... no wonder I liked it. Hope you have good results with that chicken recipe, too - so easy and so good!

      Delete
  4. Thank you for sharing your recipes. They all sound great so we're going to have to try them. We had lentil soup today too from our Instant Pot. Loved it. Enjoy your week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iliana - I'm still trying to convince myself that I NEED an Instant Pot. Space is limited here, and the slow cooker takes up so much of it....

      Delete
  5. I am bookmarking all of these recipes! It's been SO cold here this weekend that I am craving soup. I learned so much about RBG from the CNN documentary (did you see that too?) that I'm looking forward to the bio. And the novel sounds like a lot of fun. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Library karma! Both the downloadable audiobook and the ebook of Standard Deviation were available! Now all I need is a bowl of that creamy tortellini soup! :) (Will work on that.)

      Delete
    2. Audrey - It's relatively cool here, too (hate even typing that considering how frigid it is up there!) so soup is well-received. The lentil soup turned out to be delicious, too. We say the CNN documentary in the theater here last spring and I keep meaning to watch it again on television. Hope you like Standard Deviation... it's a fairly quick read. Susie at Novel Visits loved the audio version.

      Delete
  6. Standard Deviation sounds terrific. Love the quotes you selected. Have a great week JoAnn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat - I'm going to see if my library has that author's previous novel.

      Delete
  7. Hi JoAnn,
    I just ordered Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life from Audible. My favorite kind of "listens" are biography and memoir. Definitive biographies are great. At 750 pages, this will take me months plus, but it will hold my interest, I'm sure.
    So glad that the Whole Foods in Ft. Myers is a good one. That really fresh produce makes all the difference, that's for sure.
    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith - I'm still relishing the RBG bio. Under 9 hours to go on the audio... she is finally on the Supreme Court and I'm reading about the struggle to get VMI to admit women. Fascinating reading and listening! Feel like I'm in heaven looking at all the wonderfully fresh produce at Whole Foods! I'm still not sure it tops Wegmans... more investigation required! ;-)

      Delete
  8. The Ruth Bater Ginsburg book is something that I would like to read. My wife may actually read it first.

    All the food looks and sounds good. Looking at the Orange Chicken is making me hungry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian - The RBG bio is wonderful... much more detailed than Notorious RBG from a few years ago, and written with assistance/interviews with RBG!

      Delete
  9. Standard Deviation does look good...and, of course, I want to read Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I saw the movie On the Basis of Sex today, and it was fabulous. People were clapping at the end.

    Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - So happy to hear On the Basis of Sex was well done... just love that people were clapping at the end! Not sure whether I'll see it in the theater of wait for the DVD. After finishing the bio, I may be on RBG overload, lol... if that is even possible!

      Delete
  10. I listened to Standard Deviation and just loved it. Such a fun whimsical story. Having seen and loved On the Basis of Sex just last night, your thoughts on the RBG book have me very interested. I was surprised from the movie with how little I know about such a remarkable woman. Shame on me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susie - I remember how much you loved the audio version of Standard Deviation. Cassandra Campbell is always fabulous! So happy the new RBG movie is well done. If I have RBG overload after finishing the bio, I'll wait until it comes out on DVD to see it.

      Delete
  11. I bet you are enjoying the winter beach weather so much! What delightful books you are reading, too. There is much to admire about RBG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb - Winter beach weather is the best... breezy and 60s today. Perfect for walking and bike riding!

      Delete
  12. I forget to tell you how often I make the recipes you recommend. They're always hits. Thanks!! As I look out on the snow, your comment about a 3-mile beach walk had me sighing (even though I prefer the cold to the heat).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth F - I'm so happy to hear that! After all these years of experimenting with new recipes, there are fewer misses... finally have a better sense of what will work and what won't.

      Delete
  13. You had such a lovely week. Warm sun, long walks, great foods and great books. When we are at the beach we love lunches in...egg salad or tuna salad on soft grained breads...pickles and chips. That’s my contribution and Den is responsible for finding fish for dinner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patty - Oooh, egg salad sounds good... think I'll do that for lunch tomorrow. We grilled swordfish last night, marinated in Wegmans Lemon & Garlic (had to bring a supply with me!)

      Delete
  14. Nice variety of books. RBG is certainly on my radar what with her health issues and the movie. The Orange Chicken recipe sounds great. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - I think everyone is thinking about RBG these days, and wishing her the best. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  15. Loving everything you posted, especially the orange chicken. I hope you are getting some warmer weather in your part of Florida. It's chilly up here.

    I think In will look for Standard Deviation. Oh, and I want lentil soup now too! Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tina - We're in the 60s here for the next few days - the natives are all wearing down jackets and the tourists are still in shorts. It's actually kind of funny! I'm happy with just a sweater or light jacket.

      The lentil soup turned out really well. I sent half of it home with my FIL and we had the other half for lunch today. Will make it again soon... love recipes where you just throw it all into the slow cooker!

      Delete
  16. All of the food you mentioned sounds great. I made a big pot of chili yesterday. With the rain and all, I think everyone at the market was making the same thing because we are all in the same aisles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ti - It's been in the 60s, but that's relatively cold for down here. The soup was perfect for lunch... maybe I'll make some chili next.

      Delete
  17. I think I relaxed just reading your description of your day! Sounds lovely! And yay for finding good produce! The Publix here is usually okay but I do prefer Whole Foods usually. Enjoy your week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - This is really my first experience with Whole Foods, but I'm impressed so far.

      Delete
  18. Standard Deviation and Grand Hotel are both on my ever-growing wishlist. My weekly update.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pussreboots - My wish list is getting out of control, too!

      Delete
  19. Standard Deviation is going on my list. I might recognize my life in a few of those quotes. And I'm checking out the Orange Chicken recipe as soon as I hit publish :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacy - I saw my life in many of those quotes, too... this author gets it!

      Delete
  20. I'm going to try that Orange Chicken recipe this weekend! Yummmm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les - Hope you have good luck with the orange chicken. I'm sure it will appear on our menu again very soon.

      Delete
  21. I can tell you are a very good cook, I'm a bit of a beginner despite my age. I'm glad you list your recipes. I'm curious about the RBG book especially since I just found out the author went to my high school so I will be interested to know if it's good or too dense? enjoy your week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan - I love to cook, but don't have as much patience for baking. Just finished the RBG book this afternoon. It is very dense and not for readers with a casual interest in Ginsburg or the law, but I thought it was fascinating for the most part. A better starting place might be Notorious RBG.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails