Category Archives: Books Books Books

What I’ve Been Reading


Book Trio
Swamplandia!, Karen Russell; Twilight #18 Watery Grave, Joseph Trainor; Codename: Sailor V, Vol. 1, Naoko Takeuchi

I read Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves a few months ago and I’d been meaning to read Swamplandia! ever since. It took me a little while to get into it- the chapters which between the POV of two different characters and I didn’t really like one of them at first, but it definitely grew on me. This book is basically amazing and you should definitely read it.

Before there was Twilight, there was TWILIGHT: WHERE DARKNESS BEGINS… When I was a kid in the 80s, my sister had a bunch of these cheesy YA horror novels and I read them all. I recently remembered them and on a crazy whim I ordered one, Watery Grave, a total gem of literature. It was just as terrible and wonderful as I remembered, and I particularly like the ending where SPOILER ALERT the female protagonist saves her injured boyfriend by blowing the monster’s head off with a shotgun. There are lots of other books in this series and I kind of want them all, so if you are looking for a gift for me you wouldn’t go wrong with a bunch of these. I’m particular keen on getting Nightmare Lake, Spirits and Spells and The Initiation.

In case you live under a rock or are for some reason not obsessed with Sailor Moon, then you know that all the original manga are being rereleased with a new, more accurate English translation. I preordered the first two, Codename: Sailor V Volume 1 and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Volume 1 and they came on Friday night. It took me a little while to get used to the right-to-left reading, but I have no complaints about this and look forward to getting the rest of the series.


Variations on a Theme


Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas

I really like recipes that have easy tweakability, and I also really like snacking. These roasted chickpeas are perfect for both tweaking and snacking. I’ve made them with the original salt & vinegar recipe, I’ve made a chili lime variation and most recently, a honey garlic variation that is my new favourite thing to eat.

The honey garlic was a little different to make than the other varieties, so I decided to make a real post about it. Also because I’m totally over my once weekly big food-round-up posts (as evidence by my being terrible about even making them haha).

Anyway. Ingredients! (shown here making an assault on Black Reach.)

Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas

1 14oz can chick peas
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup honey
1 clove garlic
2 tsp olive oil
salt to taste

It’s worth noting here that all my ingredients are either local, organic, or both, except for the salt, which is my own special blend of New Zealand sea salt and two different varieties of Hawaiian Alaea sea salt. Why is this worth noting? Because I’m a total pretentious douche.

Drain and rinse your chickpeas and mince your garlic.

Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas
Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas
Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas
Sharky the Shark Knife is a big fan of garlic.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and honey, and stir until the honey is fully dissolved. Add chick peas and minced garlic to pan. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes.

Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas
This looks gross but I swear it’s not.

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a fine sieve, strain the chickpeas and garlic (using a colander with large holes will result in the heartbreak of garlic loss). Place of the baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roll the peas around until they are nicely coated- I don’t like getting oil all over my hands (I already have to wash my hands 550,000 times a day, why would I want make extra hand-washing work for myself?) so I do this by folding the parchment over them in different directions and rolling them.

Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas
Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas

Roast for anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown. I’ve never roasted mine for longer than 35 minutes, and they can burn really easily so be careful! You definitely need to keep an eye on these.

Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas

Allow to cool for .5 seconds before stuffing them all in your face while reading volume 1 of the newly rereleased Codename: Sailor V, like I did on Sunday night.

Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas
Honey Garlic Roasted Chick Peas
Perfect evening, tbh.

What I’ve Been Reading


Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell; The Magician King by Lev Grossman; The Help by Kathryn Stockett

No food post again this week; I’ve been so busy with other things that meals this week have consisted of
1. soup
2. macaroni and cheese
3. Japanese takeout
… so instead you get books!

Cloud Atlas is a wonderful book, beautiful and heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. The way the book is written is interesting too. It’s six stories all nested within one another, starting in the 1800s, going hundreds of years into the future and then back again. I didn’t realize until I was about halfway through but I actually read another of David Mitchell’s books, Black Swan Green, a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.

I absolutely loved The Magicians; it was the first book I bought for my kindle, so I was really excited to read the sequel and The Magician King did not disappoint! I read the whole thing in about a day and a half and tbh I’m thinking of rereading them both this weekend.

I picked up The Help on a whim and idk, I didn’t really like it. It’s not bad, but the whole thing left me feeling a weird mix of sad, white-guilty and depressed. Kind of the same way I felt when I went to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and my friend Amy, Taylor and I were the only white people there.

Miracle Romance

I just pre-ordered Codename: Sailor V 1 and Sailor Moon 1, this is basically the best day of my life.


Is it September 13th yet?

What I’ve Been Eating and Reading

… or more accurately What I’ve Been Eating and Reading and Why I’ve Been Eating What I’ve Been Eating Because of What I’ve Been Reading. That would be too long though.

Four Meals

right, top to bottom: cheese, tomatoes, lettuce & black bean humous sandwich; goat cheese mini-frittatas with salad; Mangled Eggs at the Templeton (eggs, brie and veggie bacon on a croissant) with rosemary potatoes; left: poutine with vegetarian gravy

So all of these meals have something in common: NO MEAT. Why? Because last week I read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and omggggg I am so grossed out now. I read the part about chicken processing while I was at the salon getting my hair done and I seriously almost barfed in the shampoo sink.


It also made me feel really sad and guilty. The cruelty and abuse is just… ugh. I can’t even explain it. I know that the food industry in Canada isn’t quite as terrible as it is in the US, but it’s definitely not good. I even feel bad about the eggs in my fridge, and I bought them for $6 a dozen at the farmer’s market from an organic biodynamic free range family farm, but is that good enough? IS IT? I feel like I’m one step away from being these people:

I mentioned reading this book in a general discussion forum and these are the replies I got

if it wasn’t for bacon, i swear…

I feel like once a year I’ll read a book about the ethics and environmental problems caused by eating meat and then 6 months later I’ll crave bacon.

i read that and saw food inc which made me very concious of what i eat. i still eat meat but not lots of it and i try to know where it came from

reading that book convinced me to be a vegetarian.

I definitely ate some bacon from Taylor’s bacon poutine last Thursday, without even thinking because I ALWAYS eat bacon from his poutine. Should I stop doing that? Will I stop doing that? I don’t even know. I’m loathe to say “Oh I’m a vegetarian now!” because I mean WHO KNOWS how this bacon thing is going to play out, but right now I’m too grossed out to even consider eating meat.

What I’ve Been Reading


St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves; Daddy-Long-Legs; Dear Enemy

a full list of all this year’s books can always be found here, and as always, book links are usually to Amazon, and clicking on them might earn me a nickel.

What I’ve Been Reading: Toddler Edition

Who's in the Forest?

Who’s in the Forest (large format board book), written by Phillis Gershator & illustrated by Jill McDonald

Who's in the Forest?

This book is a big hit with the kids; rhyming books generally are, and the simple rhymes and repeated words and phrases make it easy for them to follow along. The cutouts make story time funner, since the kids always want to see which animal is peeking through and what they’re doing on the next page. The illustrations are bright, friendly and cheerful, and after we read it they always want to go through the book and show me the animals they like the best, or count how many of each animal there are.

Who's in the Forest?

I like the large format; the book is 8½” square, which made it easier to read with the kids (reading little books involves lots of shoving each other to be able to see the pictures). The construction is sturdy and has held up well; this book has been out on the shelf for over a month and in spite of being fought over, stepped on, and drooled on almost every day it shows remarkably little sign of wear and tear. I took pictures of my actual copy for this post and you can see it still looks great! This book is definitely going to be a favourite around here for a long time.

I received a copy of this book from Barefoot Books in exchange for my review.