What Katie Ate: Recipes and Other Bits and Pieces is mine and Amy’s new favorite favorite cookbook of all time ever. The photography is just brilliant and so inspiring. I keep it next to my bed. The best cookbook I’ve purchased in ages.

Spilling the Beans: The Autobiography of One of Television’s Two Fat Ladies Over the holidays I watched the entire Two Fat Ladies tv series and something Clarissa Dickson Wright said in it made me curious about her. So, it turns out that she’s from an insanely wealthy, eccentric British family and drank away her inheritance in 10 insane years (she’s been in recovery for ages now.) It’s light read and very name droppy but in an interesting way.

Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind I haven’t read this next, but it’s on deck. My sister is currently reading it, and she starts every sentence with “Did you that…”. From Amazon: “…a fascinating chronicle of life’s history told not through the fossil record but through the stories of organisms that have survived, almost unchanged, throughout time. Evolution, it seems, has not completely obliterated its tracks as more advanced organisms have evolved; the history of life on earth is far older—and odder—than many of us realize.”

The Uninvited Guests: A Novel  Everybody and her sister has been raving about this book, and I have to admit that it caught me completely by surprise. The beginning is a little slow but stick with it and it may catch you by surprise, too.

After I read The Uninvited Guests, Amazon apparently thought they had my number and they recommended Miss Buncle’s Book. And maybe they did have my number because I found Miss Buncle’s Book a sweet and delightful read!

 “Barbara Buncle is in a bind. Times are harsh, and Barbara’s bank account has seen better days. Maybe she could sell a novel … if she knew any stories. Stumped for ideas, Barbara draws inspiration from her fellow residents of Silverstream, the little English village she knows inside and out….To her surprise, the novel is a smash.”

As you would expect, all manner of hell breaks loose in Silverstream and hilarity ensues. This is the very definition of light reading but I enjoyed it very much and will be reading more from the Miss Buncle series.

A couple of you have asked how I managed to read so much while getting everything else done. The answer is that 1.) I’m not really doing as much as I used to since I’ve been sick and 2.) I have pretty much given up on keeping up with the news, which really freed up some time for me.

Ever since a Connecticut elementary school was shot up right before Christmas, I just find that I don’t have the heart (or maybe it’s the stomach?) for the news anymore. It was causing me too much pain and I’ve decided to disengage for a while while I figure out how to have a healthier relationship with it.

As a former network news producer and obsessive new consumer, it hasn’t been easy to kick the habit, but I have found myself feeling a lot freer since making the change. We’ll see how it goes…