Reading this summer: Faulkner, Murakami, Chabon, Cleave…

So the summer began a few weeks ago, but during the June 21 (my birthday) – July now period I have been reading the first twenty pages of books and books. Among them:

Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

They are all on the final summer list, though I suspect I’ll be taking some liberality with the designation “Summer” when it comes to Pynchon’s book. Like maybe next summer…

I have read two works since planning this post (since Wednesday… what day is it now?):

Sarrasine by Honoré de Balzac and
The Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon

And now, the plan:

Franz Kafka’s complete story collection
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Vladimir Nabokov’s complete story collection
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
Tinkers by Paul Harding
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

And, of course, the four mentioned above.

I’ve solicited suggestions and am open to more. Have a lovely summer reading, all, no matter what you choose. Here are the books I currently have. I must have left Duffy’s collection at work…

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Snowpril? And, 67 books all (geek) parents should read to their kids

-o- Earth Day -o-

I hope you all had a wonderful 4-20! It was a gorgeous Earth Day and I sincerely everyone enjoyed it and put it to productive uses.

-o- Shakespeare’s birthday -o-

If you live in D.C., as I do, you may have celebrated the Bard’s birthday at the Folger Shakespeare library yesterday. Several cities are hosting festivals of Shakespeare’s plays at their theaters. At the very least, consider recalling your favorite Shakespeare-related memory, literary or otherwise.

I’ve recently finished reading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series, and William Shakespeare is featured heavily in a few of the stories.

-o- Snowpril? -o-

Snow in April?!?! Thank you global warming for extreme unpredictable weather. One of the little groundhog deniers saw his shadow, so 6 more months of winter.

CNN article on today’s storm.

-o- Over 50% of people learn of breaking news via social media -o-

Shameless self-aggrandizing by a social media site, sign of the times, or both? Social media definitely has a speed edge over tradition sources, but is the speed worth the haste? Often times “breaking news” really is “breaking rumors”

Infographic from Mashable.

-o- Oh my goodness, it’s Moby Dick -o-

How exciting! World’s only all-white killer whale spotted off the coast of Russia. No word yet if giant metaphor is chasing after it.

Photo and article from CNN. Here’s another photo and more photos of the day from The Wall Street Journal.

-o- 67 books every geek should read to their children -o-

List from Wired. My mom and dad introduced me to several books on this list, including: Shel Silverstein’s collections, The Borrowers, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and the glorious The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I should buy a copy of that one.

Bonus: What do LolitaThe Phantom Tollbooth, and The Shining have in common? They are all on this list of  10 Great Books to Read Aloud from Flavorwire. Great list.

-o- 10 Beautiful Literary Box Sets -o-

Thank you again, Flavorwire! Here’s the gallery.

-o- Recipe of the Week: Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps -o-

Here’s the recipe from Gina’s Skinny Recipes.

(Image Source: Gina’s Skinny Recipes, SkinnyTaste.com)

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Timeline of the downfall of SOPA, Tips for Stumblers

-o- Newt Gingrich wins in South Carolina -o-
Dare I say I still think Romney will end up as the nominee? Both Gingrich and Santorum could still take it away. The Washington Post published a piece on the women who turned out to vote for Newt. Read it here.

The Florida debate is tonight… I wonder who will be ahead tomorrow.

I also read an interesting feature on Callista Gingrich, the potential nominee’s third wife, in The New Yorker this weekend. You can read it here.

-o- The Ravens lose, the Giants win! -o-
For me, the Ravens-Patriots game was painful, but extremely fun to watch! Here’s Billy Cundiff, watching the bowl sail past the goalpost.

                                     (photo credit: Robert Deutsch, USA Today)

(Because I love my friend Steve, I’m happy the Giants won.)

-o- Timeline of SOPA’s demise -o-
Mashable‘s  compiled a timeline of SOPA’s ascent and fall over the past week. I joined the WordPress bloggers that blacked out their sites Wednesday, January 18. The people spoke, and Congress heard.

Check out Fitzpatrick’s article here.

-o- Today is National Pie Day! -o-

Apparently… Check out the history of the Day and other January 23 food history tidbits on Foodimentary.

-o- What’s the best book you’ve read in one day? -o-
I love everything about this question. My answer is, either The Old Man and the Sea or The Pearl by John Steinbeck. I know they are both very short, but still I think the best books I’ve read in a single day.

Check out Reddit’s post and the many responses. There’s also a collection of responses in the Publishing Talk Daily.

-o- 10 Tips for Savvy Stumblers -o-
Also from Mashable: Here are 10 tips for the stumbler.

-o- Mini food sculptures -o-
“Most Amazing Miniature Food Artworks” by Shay Aaron. View them all here.

Miniature Food Sculpture
These make me so happy!

Top 100 Lists: Best Opening Lines, Best Closing Lines, Best Films Based on Books

I’ve recently learned that the U.K. Stylist has some great stuff – other than fashion tips and beauty products.

Check out their Top 100 list of films adapted from books here. Among those with which I agree are:

The Godfather (1973)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (2005)

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Here’s their Top 100  list of the best opening lines of novels. Here are the ones that I love that did not make my list:

“You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)

“If you were going to give a gold medal to the least delightful person on Earth, you would have to give that medal to a person named Carmelita Spats, and if you didn’t give it to her, Carmelita Spats was the sort of person who would snatch it from your hands anyway.” – Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy (Book the Fifth) (2000)

That Lemony Snicket quote reminds me of the opening line to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

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Lastly, here is their Top 100 list of ending book lines. I like several of their selections, including:

Charlotte's Web

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” – E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web (1952)

Anne of Green Gables

“‘God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world,’ whispered Anne softly.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (1908)

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Here is my post on 10 Superb Opening Lines of Novels; read my follow up list of Superb Closing Lines.

Finally, today Shhh… Mommy’s Blogging posted a Top Five Movies Based on Books list, complete with movie trailers! Love it, and recommend checking it out here.

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… Salvador Dalí gave outlandish dinner parties; Dozens of chicken recipes from Punchfork and Cooking Light

-o- GOP: Romney v. … Santorum? Gingrich? -o-
I’m sticking with Romney (as is most of professional and popular opinion), but the news this week is still looking at Gingrich and the newcomer, Rick Santorum. And, despite numerous press gaffs, Rick Perry vows to press on.

Here’s The Washington Post‘s take on the state of the race; read NPR‘s article for more. Here’s the AP‘s story on Perry.

-o- Nicholas Lemann’s commentary on Ron Paul -o-
It’s been awhile since I had the time to read The New Yorker, but suddenly I spend hours (and so much money…) on the metro during the week and so have returned to reading it whenever possible.

Read the fun and fascinating commentary “Enemy of the State” here.

-o- Salvador Dalí gave off-the-wall parties -o-
Well, yeah… I have personally visited the Salvador Dali museum near Barcelona, Spain, and I would never have imagined otherwise. Check out the video below of one of Dalí’s dinner parties. I  wish I could see the full menu!


(image from Photos of Spain)


(image from my trip to Spain in Fall 2007)

View the video of the party here on Foodista.

-o- 10 most popular stories on TheNewYorker.com this year -o-
I really enjoy reading The New Yorker. Thanks to the sensitivity and generosity of my mom, I’ve had a subscription for a few years now. Though I have gotten very into the headline-based news gathering Twitter offers me, I still cling to “knowing a lot about a few topics” as a worthy pursuit. The New Yorker offers that, with features by regular and constantly improving writers such as Jeffrey Toobin and Malcolm Gladwell.

Among this year’s most popular stories: “The Tweaker” by Malcolm Gladwell, November 14, 2011 (“the real genius of Steve Jobs”) and “Looking for Someone” by Nick Paumgarten, July 4, 2011 (“Sex, love, and loneliness on the Internet).

Here’s the collection.

-o- Fantastic Collection of Chicken Recipes on PunchFork -o-
On top of my list to try: Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella.

Check out the whole gallery.

Also, get some of the featured chicken recipes in the January/February issue of Cooking Light below. Find all of the recipes from this issue here.

-o- Balsamic Chicken
-o- Chicken and Rice
-o- Chicken and Rice with Mushrooms
-o- Chicken Enchiladas
-o- Chicken Piccata
-o- Chicken Pizza
-o- Chicken Quesadillas
-o- Chicken Spaghetti
-o- Chicken with Olives and Lemons
-o- Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce
-o- Chicken with Root Vegetables
-o- Chipotle Chicken
-o- Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms
-o- Green Curry Chicken
-o- Maple-Brined Chicken with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
-o- Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken
-o- Moroccan-Style Chicken Tagine
-o- Sautéed Chicken with Olive Tapenade
-o- Sautéed Chicken with Onion Jam
-o- Sautéed Chicken with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
-o- Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
-o- Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry

-o- 6 Startups to watch this year -o-
Where would my weekly post be without a Mashable mention? Here are the 6 companies to watch in 2012, according to Sarah Kessler:

-o- Skillshare (website)
-o- Zaarly, Taskrabbit or something similar (Zaarly website | Taskrabbit website)
-o- LevelUp (website)
-o- Dwolla (website)
-o- Eventbrite (website)
-o- Codecademy (website)

How many of these have you heard of? Can you guess what they offer?
If you are part of a startup company, what is your new idea, and why does it deserve a place on this list?

Read Kessler’s article here.

-o- Where does the Nook stand in the eReader game? -o-
The New York Times looks into the eReader market and reports that, according to its sources, Barnes & Noble holds around 13 percent of the market. That’s certainly more than I would have guessed, considering the number of die-hard Apple fans and the fact that Amazon.com is a giant, and the Kindle was around first.

Read the article here.

-o- Nature’s Weirdest Events -o-
BBC Nature‘s  list of eerily strange natural events.

Among them: the tongue-biter, or Cymothoa exigua, one of hundreds of an isopod or louse which attaches itself to a fish’s tongue after entering through the fish’s gills.

Ceratothoa imbricata in Blacktail (c) Nico Smit
(image via BBC)

-o-  Random House’s collection of “Best of 2011” Book Lists -o-

Random House collected dozens of the year’s “Best of” lists in one place! Here’s the loot.

Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee

I am such a sucker for this stuff. Admittedly, when I first started browsing the site I had a moment of “AH! What did you do to those books?!?!”; but I concluded that this art is worth buying two sets of worthy volumes.

Guy Laramee, thank you for these inspiring images! And thanks to Christopher Jobson of Colossal Art & Design for collecting them.

My favorite landscape:

Carved Book Landscapes by Guy Laramee sculpture paper books

Copyright 2010-2011, Christopher Jobson

See them all here.

A funny thing happened on the way to this Monday… 21st Century Publishing Success Stories, Bieber gets to shake Obama’s hand

-o- Kim Jong Il dies at age 69
CNN‘s coverage on Kim Jong Un, the successor; The Washington Post‘s coverage of the event; The New York Timesstory on the anxiety in the region.

-o- 7 new apps to download this week
From Mashable; see the piece here. My favorite? “Santa’s Big Helper”… if you can stomach the idea of downloading a Christmas app (and then using it to trick your kids…)

-o- Michelle Bachmann on Kinsey’s estimate of the gay population
When asked by a self-proclaimed “gay-friendly Iowan” if she was aware that 10% of Americans are gay, Bachmann replied that those numbers were according to “the Kinsey report” and have been known to be wrong for years now. Bachmann’s husband, who works at a clinic long-suspected of trying to “cure” homosexuality, backed his wife, informing the questioner that Kinsey’s work is no longer considered “valid.”
Dr. Kinsey is famous for his research on human sexual behavior in the 1940s and 1950s; he shocked the world when he claimed 10% of the male population was gay. Studies and polls since then have come up with numbers from1%-8%. Here’s the story on CNN’s political ticker blog.

-o- 21st Century Publishing success stories
21st-century publishing seems a terrifying field, but it is the industry I want to be a part of. I found this article from The Guardian on successful publishing in the digital age inspiring.

-o- 10 most popular Twitter pics this week
Also from Mashable – see all the 10 most popular photos on Twitter this week here. Among them? Taylor Swift’s new red shoes, Justin Bieber shaking hands with Barack Obama, and a conversation between Santa and Jesus.

-o- Eat This, Not That’s NEW Worst Supermarket Foods
Reading these lists can be upsetting, but it’s so worth it! Slideshow, List.

-o- The Ultimate Christmas Gift
With the holidays looming, I would venture to guess no one has time to make these this year. But still, drool over the photo on Gojee and file it somewhere for the day you are determined to give them a try!