Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy.  — Mary Berry

It seems that those points in time in my life when I have been the most stressed, the making relief that I turn to is cooking. So we have an enormous pot of chili that will be something easy to pull out for many meals. I also pulled out my tried and true bread recipe and it’s yeast-y goodness filled my kitchen with the best smells yesterday. And kneading bread is the absolute best frustration releaser on earth!

I have barely knit a stitch… I cannot settle my mind or my hands to do that… it is better to read something that encompasses my mind. Thus… Big Foot Sock #1 is still not done. (Although the fit thus far is very good!)

I did sit down at my sewing machine on Friday, turned on an audio book, and quilted The Advent Calendar. AND!! I love how it turned out. (full beauty shot coming soon!) The final steps are hand-sewing the binding, then attaching twenty-four buttons… and, yes, I am struck by the irony of binding a quilt (which I can do) and binding up the (self-made/inflicted) hell-scape that is my sister’s life (which I can’t do). All that aside… my goal is to have this in the mail by Friday!

The reading this week was so good:

O BeautifulO Beautiful by Jung Yun
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can you leave your hometown and leave behind all the problems that it holds? That is what Elinor Hanson finds out as she takes a job that brings her back to the North Dakota town where she grew up.

There is intrigue. There are fascinating characters. There is racism. And there is greed… all simmering under the surface.

Yun’s prosaic writing is what drew me in and her story kept me. O Beautiful is not what I expected… it is so much more. And the best part? It did not have a tidy ending… and the wondering about that is perhaps the best lingering thing about this book! I highly recommend it!

I would like to thank Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for this ARC.

What Strange ParadiseWhat Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Just wow.

This might be a small book but it is not a light read. El Akkad takes us to the world of the refugee from a unique perspective… from the eyes of a child. The writing is almost like El Akkad had a quiver of arrows… and when they were gone – his story must be done. Those arrows absolutely pierced my heart and my mind. This is a book that I will not soon forget… this is an absolute must read!

That is all I have for today… what about you? What are you making and reading this week?

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