The holidays are over and my brain feels full of holes. I’m still tired (and cranky, truth be told) and I just can’t seem to focus on anything for too long. I can barely remember what I read last night, much less last week or last month. I feel like my reading should be confined to wordless picture books and heavily-illustrated cookbooks, because plot and character just seem to be completely beyond my comprehension at the moment. This also means that I can’t seem to hold a coherent thought in my head, so you have my apologies if this wanders off into tangents or is just completely incomprehensible.
Who am I kidding? This whole thing is going to be a rambling wander through whatever random book thoughts pop into my head as I type. Ye be warned.
I’m currently standing across from a shelf that hosts one of my favorite new-ish picture books: The Secret Life of Squirrels. I am oddly obsessed with this book, which is a series of vignettes showing Mr. Peanuts going about his daily life and getting ready to have a houseguest. The author, Nancy Rose, sets up little props in her backyard and waits for the animals to come along and interact with them. The end result is both adorable and kind of disturbing. You can watch a display of sample pictures here, if you’re interested.
In a similar vein, I’m also creepily fascinated with I Wish I Had a Pet, which is illustrated with photos of what I at first took to be taxidermy, but are, in reality, handmade (mostly) felt animals (mostly mice). The book is much less creepy now that I know they aren’t taxidermied critters, but I still find it a little squicky when animals want to make pets of other animals. (The whole Mickey Mouse/Pluto/Goofy thing is probably the most disturbing example of this: Pluto and Goofy are both dogs, but one is Mickey’s pet and one is his friend–and can talk–and I’m not sure exactly how that all works out and I know I’m not the only one bothered by this.) The book is adorable and has good advice for any child wanting a pet, but for some reason, it still weirds me out a little.
(And somehow, I just got distracted and wandered over to OMG that dress! because my brain is still incapable of much in the way of thinking or staying on track and OMG that dress! is doing jewelry and accessories right now and there’s a tiara that someone needs to buy for me rightnowrightnowrightnow.)
I also love flipping through cookbooks at this time of year, even though I’ve eaten so much over the holidays that I probably won’t really need another meal until March. My favorite to browse right now is Huckleberry because it’s all breakfast and pastry and there is a picture of this gorgeous blueberry brioche on the cover and if you aren’t going to buy me the tiara you should make me this bread as consolation.
I’m also in love with A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus, which I would never have discovered if it hadn’t been for the Book Awards Committee (and, just one last time: Thanks, guys, for all your hard work this year!). It doesn’t have a lot of vegetarian-friendly recipes, but the photos and stories are lovely and comforting and the people all just seem so nice. It’s one of those books that reminds me of long evenings spent lingering over dinner and wine and conversation with really good friends and makes me a little nostalgic and misty-eyed in the process. (And, so, to cheer me up, I went and looked at this. The House of Worth did some lovely, lovely gowns in their heyday. I’m glad they’re back, even if I’m not overfond of the new designs. And didn’t I warn you at the start about the tangents?)
And, when my brain can’t even manage picture books or cookbooks, there are always Dogs in Cars.