Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Sunday Salon: February 21, 2021


Another week has passed - quietly here, but my heart goes out to all those without power and water due to the storms and bitter cold. It's been a rough week for so many...


Read last week//

We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida

Annie is two for two with Shelf Subscriptions! This month's selection was a coming of age story set in mid-1980s San Francisco which she describes as "feeling weirdly like  Mean Girls meets My Brilliant Friend." I think that's spot on... and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It was perfect reading for the long holiday weekend. 





This book has been on my "to read" list for a long time, but Athira's recent comments gave me the push I needed to finally pick it up... and I'm so glad I did. Olou gave me a lot to think about and I learned a few things, too. This book is definitely a must read! I mostly listened to the audio version narrated by Bahni Turpin, but was happy to also have a library ebook. There were several passages I wanted to reread slowly. If you haven't read this yet, I urge you to make time soon!




Current reading//
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi

I started listening to this YA remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning  on my walk this morning. So far it's a good follow-up to So You Want to Talk About Race. I'll have more to say next week.

I'll also start something in print this evening.


In the kitchen//

This was the week I finally decided to purchase an air fryer. After talking with friends over a (socially-distanced, outdoor) glass of wine, I figured it was time. This couple has spent the pandemic honing their culinary skills and were very enthusiastic about their air fryer... and sous vide, too, but that'll be for another time.

It arrived yesterday and the cookbook is coming until tomorrow. I'm sure we'll have fun experimenting with it. Do you have a favorite air fryer recipe I should try?


Last week's new recipes included Honey Hoisin Tofu from Katie Workman's Mom 100 Cookbook and Crab-Stuffed Shrimp from Skinnytaste One and Done... I couldn't fine either of the recipes online. 


Viewing//


The Last Czars - Netflix
We watched all 6 episodes of this 2019 show and really enjoyed it. It made me wish I hadn't culled my Russian history books before moving...




We also watched Nomadland on hulu (thanks to our daughter) over the weekend. No surprise, but I much preferred the book. Still, the cinematography was wonderful. I loved the scenes shot in the Arizona desert and in The Badlands... and am pretty sure I caught a glimpse of the Needles Highway, too.



So, that was my week. What's new with you. What have you been reading?


The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz
It's Monday... What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

34 comments:

  1. I also enjoyed We Run new kitchen gadgets.n the Tides and we hope to see Nomadland as well when available on demand. Hope you have a good week and enjoy yo

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    1. Diane - We Run the Tides is a book I probably would not have picked up without Shelf Subscription... definitely a win! We'll have fun experimenting with the air fryer this week. Hope you have a good one, too.

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  2. Both Stamped and So You Want to Talk About Race are important and really well done books!

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    1. Helen - So You Want to Talk About Race is the most important book I've read in a very long time. Have high hopes for Stamped as well.

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  3. Shelf Subscriptions sounds like a great way to find some new authors. I'm glad you've enjoyed the books you've received so far. I'm definitely going to get We Run the Tides. I just listened to the audio sample and will go that route. (Marin Ireland is the reader.)

    My daughter just got an air fryer and I'm tempted, but I want to hone my skills with the sous vide first. I've used it for steaks, chicken, pork tenderloin and pork chops and everything has been perfectly cooked with the exception of the pork chops. They probably weren't thick enough and I cooked them too long. But, my goodness, the steak was INCREDIBLE! Keep us posted on the air fryer. BTW, I made your cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread this weekend and it was a huge hit. I didn't bother with the frosting, since I thought it might be sweet enough. My husband is already wondering when I plan to make it again. Yes, it's almost all gone! :)

    Yep, we had the same thoughts about Nomadland. The book was better. The film seemed to focus mostly on McDormand's character and not quite as much on the other nomads. I spotted the Needles Highway, too, but really didn't need to watch McDormand using the pickle bucket... ugh.

    Just finished Gabrielle Zevin's *Young Jane Young* which I LOVED! What a good book. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it, but skip the audio and go straight to the print/ebook edition. Now I'm reading an older YA novel (If I Stay) and can't wait to get back to it.

    Have a good week, JoAnn.

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    1. Les - My two months of Shelf Subscription have been a resounding success. I never would have picked either book on my own, but both were big hits. Marin Ireland is a new favorite narrator, so I might have been inclined to go that route if the hardcover had not appeared at my doorstep.

      Our friends were raving about their sous vide, too. Who knows how long our isolation will go on, so I'll enjoy the novelty of the air fryer before moving on to the next gadget. I have a captive audience here - ha! Glad you liked the cinnamon swirl bread. I haven't made it again (too dangerous!) but when I do, will skip the icing.

      I loved Nomadland for the gorgeous scenery, but missed the bid picture of the book. McDormand was amazing, but absolutely agree on the pickle bucket.

      I borrowed the ebook of Young Jane Young from the library today and was completely hooked after the first chapter. It seems like the perfect change of pace. Thank you!!

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  4. Thank you for sending good thoughts to all of us who've been bewildered by the icy cold weather in Texas last week.

    I'm glad to see you sending a big thumbs up for We Run the Tides. I'm reading two serious books right now and I hope to read something light soon.

    Stamped won the Cybils for high school nonfiction, and I'm happy to say that I nominated it.

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    1. Deb - We Run the Tides would be a nice change of pace from your serious books. Stamped seems very deserving of the Cybilis nonfiction award... excellent nomination!!

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  5. I must check out Nomadland! I had it marked on my list...I didn't know it was streaming already!

    I love your beautiful beach photo.

    Here are my WEEKLY UPDATES

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - Nomadland opened Friday in theaters and on hulu... my daughter let us use her account. It was good, but not as "big picture issue" as the book.

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  6. Now I really want to read Nomadland so that I can watch it--I love western landscapes and I'm itching to get on the road.

    I haven't heard of The Last Czars. Everything I know about the Romanovs I learned from Nicholas and Alexandria when I was a teen.

    Hope you have a good week and that our poor, battered country and fellow citizens can catch a break.

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    1. JaneGS - Honestly, the scenery/landscapes were the best part of the movie for me. I much prefer the book for shedding light on the issue, but it was wonderful seeing The Badlands again!

      Our previous knowledge of Nicholas and Alexandria probably aligns, so hopefully you will enjoy the series as much as we did. Wishing I hadn't purged those Figes books though...

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  7. I like your comments on the reading you did about race. May I suggest Womanish by Kim McLarin? https://keepthewisdom.blogspot.com/2019/02/womanish-grown-black-woman-speaks-on.html
    I am going to take a look at The Last Czars. Last night we watched My Octopus Teacher. It was amazing.
    Wishing you a good week!

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    1. Judy - I'd not heard of Kim McLarin, But after reading your thoughts I'm adding the book to my list - sounds excellent! My Octopus Teacher is on our list.. maybe this week. The Last Czars was very well done and fit perfectly with my prior knowledge.

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  8. That photo of the beach makes me dream, when will I see the sea again ?... I need to read So you want to talk about race. Enjoy your week !

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    1. LzaBzh - We are so fortunate to be here near the water, especially during the pandemic. It's such a comfort!

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  9. We have not gotten an air fryer but our son and a few friends rave about it. Right now we have a slow cooker which may head out the door as it's been acting up and Doug has an Instant Pot. Lookign forward to your recipes.

    I haven;t read or seen nomadland so I think I ought to correct that soon.

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    1. Tina - I never did jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon, so I figured it was okay to give in to the air fryer craze. Will let you know how things go! As far as Nomadland goes, the book was much better than the movie. It's hard to explore the larger issue in a film, I think... but the scenery was well worth the viewing!

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  10. This post has so much information I was not aware of. First off, this subscription service. I checked out their page and I see their podcast. I will check it out. I like to listen to bookish podcasts while walking sometimes.

    Also, We Run the Tides sounds really good and totally my thing.

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    1. Ti - From the Front Porch is one of my favorite bookish podcasts. After listening for a year or so, I figured my reading tastes align pretty well with Annie's and felt comfortable with her Shelf Subscription. It's been a great success so far.

      You should definitely give We Run the Tides a try... I think it's a "Ti book."

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  11. Two of Katie Workman's cookbooks are our virtual cookbook club selections for March. Mom's 100 is the alternate and Dinner Solved is the main selection. I don't have an air fryer!
    Judy's comment above reminded me that I meant to read Womanish by Kim McLarin. Have you read Good Talk by Mira Jacob? I know there's an audio edition, but it's a graphic memoir, so I'm not sure how the audio was done.

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    1. Laurie - You have a virtual cookbook club? So cool! I haven't tried Dinner Solved, but borrowed Mom 100 from the library. I love her chocolate banana cake, maple mustard pork kebabs, and the citrus marinade for grilled shrimp.

      Good Talk is on my to read list and, since it's a graphic memoir, I would probably not choose the audio. Womanish is new to me, but sounds excellent.

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    2. The virtual cookbook club is one I run through the library. We were an in-person club that went virtual last March. It's fun!

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  12. I've had So You Want to Talk About Race on my TBR too, and last week my daughter gave me a copy. One of the deans at her college was giving out free copies of anti-racist books for Black History Month and since she probably won't get to it before the end of the semester, she lent it to me.

    I'm curious about the air fryer too but don't have any room for another appliance. I like those lids that fit the Instant Pot but haven't seen them for the 8-quart.

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    1. Melissa - I hope you have a chance to read So You Want to Talk About Race... it is just excellent. There were terms and ideas mentioned that I was not familiar with. It is the perfect book for discussion. I applaud her college for distributing copies!

      I never did get an Instant Pot, so feel better about succumbing to the air fryer craze, lol!

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  13. We don't have Hulu, but I've had Nomadland on my library hold list for a few days, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Sam - Nomadland is definitely worth the read. The movie focuses more on Fern, McDormand's character, rather than on the big picture issue. The movie offers gorgeous views of The Badlands and the dessert... makes me long for the day when we can do road trips again. Sigh.

      Hope you're okay with power and water now. My nephew and girlfriend in Austin lost power for 3 days, but did not have water as of Sunday evening. Hope they do now.

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    2. The movie sounds like a good supplement to the book, JoAnn, so I'm hoping to do both eventually. I know exactly what you mean about road trips; I miss the road more than anything else right now and can't believe that I am likely to miss out on another summer trip or two.

      Believe it or not, it got to almost 80 degrees here yesterday with a nice breeze. I even grilled the last of our meat supply on the outdoor grill yesterday evening...now hoping the grocery stores finally get their shelves restocked because we are running low on everything. Austin got hit a bit worse than most of Houston from what I understand, with temperatures running five or six degrees lower than here and much worse water supply problems.

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    3. Sam - Wow, talk about crazy weather! No further updates from our nephew, but I'm going with 'no news is good news'... especially when dealing with a 25-year-old.

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  14. I love Stamped so looks like I should pick up "So You Want to." next

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    1. Lady in Read - Glad to know Stamped was a winner for you. Definitely give Oluo's book atry!

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  15. Nomandland and The Last Czars both look really good! I will have to tell my mom to watch The Last Czars, she is looking for something and she would love that.

    We have an air fryer! I need to play with it more - right now I use it mainly for Wyatt's chicken nuggets when we are making a dinner he won't want to eat. Lol.

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    1. Erin - I made some zucchini chips in the air fryer today... they were really good. Tomorrow it will be some kind of fish or shrimp.Added a couple of air fryer cookbooks to my library hold list, too.

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  16. Ooh I finished We Run the Tides this week too. Wasn't it good? Can't wait to read your review! Will have to look for Nomadland.

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