What I'm Reading | December 2014

Inevitably, the week between Christmas and New Year's often feels like a long string of dinner parties for two, which is just the way I like it. Without the obligation of work beckoning, I have time to, for example, braise pork in the morning, or roast squash, or stir risotto in the middle of the week, or make hot chocolate, then cookies, then ice cream, in one afternoon. It's a grand series of meals in quick succession, usually served with wine.

It is also inevitable that the sun disappears before I'm able to capture these wonderful meals in natural light. Like the delicata squash risotto laced with sage butter and dotted with toasted hazelnuts. There was a cluster of grilled radicchio nestled in the bowl, and a drizzle of sweet balsamic vinegar, the thick, 12-year aged variety from the slim, special occasion bottle. 

See what I mean? Glorious fluorescent lighting. But this is real life, and I needed the hibernation from everything. I always do. And I'm betting you benefited from the same this month, at least I very much hope so. 

After coming back from Thailand, the weeks leading up to Christmas were nonstop. There were meetings and budgets and timelines and board meetings, and I was completely blindsided by how quickly two weeks went by. I was also attempting to reset my sleep schedule, which took approximately eight days. 

We did decorate, burn our pine-scented candles, and bring home a little three-foot tall tree, but I was not thoughtful or whimsical or much in the holiday spirit until Christmas Eve arrived. So I sort of missed the holidays this year, but that's what happens when you fly halfway around the world two days before Thanksgiving, and don't come back until well into December.

Tonight I'm simmering short ribs on the stove, our annual tradition for the past five years or so, and talking about our plans for the year ahead. I may or may not stay awake until midnight. We'll see. Happy 2015!

A two minute reminder on the power of reading and the importance of good writing. 

Cereal Magazine channels Virginia Woolf.

How Los Angeles neighborhoods got their names.

The lies your mind tells you to prevent life changes.

Should writers respond to their critics? 

51 of the most beautiful sentences in literature.

The difference between being "detached" and "non-attachment." And why it matters for getting what you want in life. 

This podcast rocked my world. It's especially perfect for this time of year, when the pull of setting goals and intentions is strongest. 

Your new detox drink.

I'm not the only writer who fears forgetting how to write. 

Typewriters for the 21st century.

I've been loving The New Yorker lately: For pet lovers, for food lovers, and for anyone who wants a good cry. Also, read Eudora Welty's job application

Eggs now aid in predicting personality types.