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Pickle Me This

July 4, 2010

Pie in the sunshine

Will you tolerate another picture of a pie in the sunshine? This time a cherry pie (my first! Hulling is tedious, but the pie is delicious) in stars because I don’t have a maple leaf cutter. Purchased with cherries from our farmer’s market, which supplied much of the deliciousness we partook in this weekend. We had a wonderful Canada Day in the sunshine, with friends for dinner, and then spent the rest of the weekend soaking up the city. We went to Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday, and I’d forgotten about wading pools, which meant that Harriet had to go swimming in her clothes. She was all right with this, however, and also got in lots of swinging, and sliding, and crawling in the grass. A similar day was had today at Christie Pits, where we also watched an old-time baseball game, went swimming in the city pool (not just wading, and we were equipped with suits and towels), and then played afterwards underneath shady trees. The parks in this city are better than any backyard you could dream of. It was a whole weekend as good as the pie.

The one problem with all this goodness, however, is Harriet’s “separation anxiety”. Quite a difference from last year at this time when Harriet didn’t like anything, she now doesn’t want to leave anything she encounters– she cries when we take her out of the swing, when we take her out of the pool, when she has to get off her bike, when her dad leaves the house in the morning, when the UPS guy leaves the house after having me sign here, when she has to put her ball down, when anybody (including complete strangers) is playing with a ball and she can’t have it, when we get to the last page of Over in the Meadow, and heaven forbid I take my keys out of her mouth, and suggest she not eat my credit card. She’s also taken to pointing at things she wants and screaming in a way that shatters eardrums. I now understand why sign language might have been useful (but still, not I how might have implemented it into life).

She does take things hard, does Harriet. She has never ever left a  playground and not had eyes streaming with tears… Though she really is a happy kid, recovering quickly from her traumas. At left is a photo of us taken last week by Star reporter Vinnie Talotta, which is pretty much our Hats most of the time.

Anyway, I am very busy lately working toward an upcoming deadline, and I’ve also gotten involved in a reading project (which I’ll tell you about when the time comes) that involves me having to read 20+ books in the next two months. This means my library books are way backlogged, and some even due back without having been touched, and my summer rereading project has totally stalled. I should be able to step up some in the days ahead, however, and I look forward to reading Katha Pollitt’s Learning to Drive, rereading Joan Didion, and writing up a post about our next meeting of The Vicious Circle and this month’s book, Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And updating you about my ongoing obsession with bananas, of course. You’ve probably been waiting for that.

June 10, 2010

Hot Summer Books!

Okay, these are called hot only because I’m looking forward to reading them this summer, but that’s hot enough, right?

The Lovers by Vendela Vida: Truthfully, I know nothing about this book except that it’s Vida’s new one, but her last novel Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name was so stunning, surprising, and subtly brutal that I’ve been hungry for its follow-up ever since.

Far to Go by Alison Pick: I read an excerpt in The New Quarterly a few issues ago, and have been looking foward to it ever since. I read Pick’s first novel The Sweet Edge last summer, she’s a poet as well, and this story is something completely different, set in Czechoslovakia in 1939 and based on the experiences of her family. (I can’t find a link, but it’s published by Anansi).

The News Where You Are by Catherine O’Flynn: I read her novel What Was Lost last summer, and am looking forward to this follow-up. Though British old-lady novelists are my favourite, I’ve got a thing for the young ones too.

I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman: Once again, I know nothing about this except that it’s Laura Lippman’s latest stand-alone, and we do love Laura Lippman here at Pickle Me This. Sadly, my life is no longer as such that I can curl up in a Muskoka chair with a beer, and give my weekend over to it, but I’ll make do and no doubt be enthralled.

May 24, 2010

On Shirley Jackson

I’ve not read anything by Shirley Jackson, but her book The Haunting of Hill House was on Sarah Waters’ Top Ten Ghost Stories. And now, my amazing new book club The Vicious Circle (and yes, if I wasn’t in this book club, I’d be jealous of anyone who was) will be reading her novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle. And since I read this article yesterday, I’ve been itching to read her short fiction. I may be the only person ever who hasn’t read “The Lottery”. Life Among the Savages might also be right up my alley. So I’ve just got this feeling that I’m on the cusp of something– all of these books to be read/loved before me. And my love of anticipation is as such that I’d sort of like to have them before me forever. The only thing I might love more than anticipation is a good book, however, so I’ll be picking up some Shirley Jackson sometime soon. I think I am going to ask for a gift certificate for Ten Editions Books for my birthday.

February 15, 2010

Housewarming

Welcome to the new home of Pickle Me This, designed and built by the good people at Create Me This. We (and our extensive archives!) are very happy to be at home here.  Looking forward to some great content up in the next few days, including an interview with Amy Jones and a rather shameful post on my own authorial encounters. For now, you can check out my Valentines recommendation for a different kind of love story.

And now, to warm up the house, please leave a note and let us know that you’ve dropped by.

Mitzi Bytes

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