Thursday, October 29, 2009

Five Things Not Related to Australia

Inspired by Sarah and Jenny

1. Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies. Just made these for Kris' Halloween Party. I feel sort of dirty now. Dirty and delicious.

2. Trona High School father grew up in Trona, California, a small mining town on the edge of Death Valley. The football field he played on (made of sand and known as The Pit) was recently featured in from the LA Times- click on the link above.

The last three are all books- I've been catching up on my reading while on vacation.

3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. This Pultizer Prize winning novel tells the story of a geeky, overweight Dominican-American boy named Oscar and his family, who have long been plagued by a curse known as the fuku that followed them from the Caribbean to their current home of New Jersey. Although Oscar is the title character, the story is more about his family and their history than it is about him... his mother surviving the brutal reign of Trujillo in the DR, his sister Lola and her captivating mixture of rebellion and vulnerability, and his friend Yunior, who also acts as the narrator and Lola's on again, off again boyfriend. The writing itself is hilarious and heartbreaking, and the characters are vibrant. It's a very latino book, with Spanish terminology sprinkled throughout. All of the women are sexy and gorgeous, and all of the men cheat on them. I really enjoyed it, but I think having lived in Nicaragua for a couple of years definitely enhanced my appreciation of the book. I was also glad that I read In The Time of The Butterflies because I already knew a bit about Trujillo's dictatorship. Here's the NYT review.

4. Out Stealing Horses, by Per Pettersen, is a Norwegian novel about an old man who moves up to an isolated cabin in the north of the country. Although the goal of his relocation was to forget his past, he ends up immersed in it, especially when he realizes that his current neighbor was a childhood acquaintance. Much of the book is a flashback of a summer he spent with his father in rural Norway, and set against a backdrop of the quiet beauty of northern Norway, the book about the relationship between a boy and his father. Out Stealing Horses progresses at a slow and deliberate pace, and it's not until over halfway through that a deeper plot is revealed. I enjoyed it, but it's more suited for reading on a cold evening by the fire than on a sunny beach.

5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yep, the title says it all- it's the classic romance story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, only in this version, guts, gore, ninjas, vomit, and zombies (a.k.a "unmentionables") play a prominent role. If you've read the original and don't tend to take English literature too seriously, you'll definitely enjoy it.


Suldog said...

OMG! It's possible to combine peanut butter and bacon? You should never have told me this. I expect will now be dead soon, found keeled over in my kitchen from overindulgence.

Tom said...

Speaking of you still have a librarything account? Did they coerce you into paying for a pro account when you hit 200 books? Because I just found a sweet new option that's better, and free, and networky.


eileen said...

The cookies don't taste all that different from regular peanut butter ones, but still....bacon.

Tom, I haven't used librarything in ages but I'll look into I checked out the site and so far it looks pretty cool- I am always looking for recommendations so this might work out well for me. thanks!