Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dinner, 14/12/17: Chicken Tray Bake


This is basically just some chicken on top of some vegetables on top of some potatoes. It goes in the oven and cooks for about 45minutes to an hour - really easy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book 105: At the Edge of the Orchard, Tracy Chevalier


I always enjoy Tracy Chevalier's books, and this was no exception. The story centres on American settlers, first in the Black Swap of Ohio, then in San Francisco and other parts of California around the time of the Gold Rush (though it's not a Gold Rush book). I learned a lot about apples and trees, as well as enjoying (more or less) finding out what happened to the characters...

Dinner, 13/12/17: Celery Soup with Biscuits


Monday, December 11, 2017

Dinner, 11/12/17: Orichiette with Brussels sprouts and pancetta


This is a really nice pasta dish with pancetta (or bacon) and brussels sprouts in a creamy sauce, with the pasta. The sprouts are lovely cooked this way; we really like how they come out.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dinner, 10/12/17: Massaman Beef & Potato Curry


One for the slow cooker: potatoes, beef, shallots, green beans, curry paste, coconut milk; easy to assemble and makes the whole house smell great as it cooks. Yum.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Book 104: Let it Snow (compilation)


This one is a re-read - it's a young adult book, three linked stories with a Christmas theme, including a Christmas miniature riot, a trek across town to the Waffle House in a blizzard, another trek from the same Waffle House to home, an epic Twister quest, an infestation of cheerleaders, and a teacup pig. Just the sort of thing I was in the mood for on a cold winter evening.

Book in


Really enjoyed Grayson Perry's memoir ("Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl") which I read a little while back, and wanted to pick this up the next time I saw it - which was today in the RA gift shop. He's very articulate and interesting, so I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say, particularly in light of his unusual perspective on manliness...

Book 103: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, Joanna Cannon


An enjoyable story of 70s suburbia and secrets, set largely (but not entirely) from the point of view of 10 year olds Grace and Tilly, as they investigate why one of their neighbours has vanished. Very well drawn characters and a nice rhythm. 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Dinner, 5/12/17: Courgette & Cheddar Soup


Also has potatoes in it as a main ingredient. I started it off, and then made Alex finish cooking while I did the online grocery shopping. My life is so much fun.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017

Book 102: A Noble Radiance, Donna Leon


I'm re-reading my way through this series, and catching all the ones I missed before (before I just read it as I came across the books, not trying to follow the order, and there are definitely gaps) - this was the latest, and as usual, well drawn and enjoyable. I did guess the resolution (and I don't think this was one I'd read before, but I thought it was reasonably well pointed towards the relevant clues) but that didn't matter too much.

Dinner, 1/12/17: Roasted Cauliflower Pizza


This was very tasty - we eat a lot of pizza variations, and this will definitely go into the mix. The cauliflower is roasted first, then put on the pizza dough with some breadcrumbs. It's really lovely. If your pizza dough was vegan (mine isn't) it would feed vegans as well!

November Round-Up

WHAT WAS FOR DINNER, NOVEMBER 2017

  • 30th: Fend for yourself Thursday
  • 29th: Ginger Beef with Tofu
  • 28th: One pan spicy rice (Alex cooking)
  • 27th: Mushroom and Sausage Pasta
  • 26th: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 25th: Chili pie with courgettes
  • 24th: Pork Curry with Hearts of Palm
  • 23rd: Fend for yourself Thursday
  • 22nd: Potato & Chorizo Quesadillas
  • 21st: Leftovers
  • 20th: Leftovers
  • 19th: Roast Chicken, roast potatoes, cabbage
  • 18th: Birthday Vegan (almost) feast
  • 17th: Homemade Pizzas
  • 16th: Fend for yourself Thursday
  • 15th: Red chili & broccoli pasta, garlic bread
  • 14th: fend for yourself - everyone out
  • 13th: Cauliflower Cheese Soup (no photo, oops)
  • 12th: Bolognese Stuffed Peppers
  • 11th: Celeriac Steaks with Salsa Verde
  • 10th: Sticky Chinese Chicken (K out - no photo)
  • 9th: Fend for yourself
  • 8th: Mixed Bean Goulash (Alex cooking)
  • 7th: Creamy Cabbage Pasta
  • 6th: Butternut Squash & Bacon soup
  • 5th: Green Prawn Curry
  • 4th: Jacket potatoes with toppings
  • 3rd: Sausges, etc (G&A only; K out)
  • 2nd: Fend for yourself
  • 1st: Chili (Geoff cooking)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Book Progress Update - November


At the start of the year, I set a few reading goals, with the overall aim of trying to make my way through books I've had for a while and haven't read, and trying not to acquire too many new books. The goals were:
  1. Read at least 100 books in 2017 (approximately 2 per week; hopefully I can accomplish this)
  2. Buy/acquire fewer books each month than I remove from my TBR shelf/list
  3. Read or otherwise get rid of at least 1 of the books I've had since before 2015 (there were 4 on the list at the start of the year) and at least three of the books I  bought during 2015 (12 on the list)
They are (fairly) reasonable goals, which shouldn't stress me too much. In theory. (In practice, by the end of the year, I was beginning to get a little stressed about buying "too many" books - so I think I'll do something a little different next year...) But I digress.

In January:  books read: 8; list reduced by: 2; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In February: books read: 12; list reduced by: 11; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In March: books read: 8; list increased by: 1;  pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0
In April: books read: 10; list increased by: 8; pre-2015 reduction: 1; 2015 reduction: 3
In May: books read, 14; list reduced by: 1; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 3
In June: books read, 9; list reduced by: 3; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0
In July: books read: 7; list increased by: 5; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In August: books read: 15; list reduced by: 1; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In September: books read: 8; list increased by: 1; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0
In October: books read: 7; list increased by: 4; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0

And now, November: 
  • I read one book lent to Geoff by a friend & colleague (Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood)
  • I read one book from my list (Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje)
  • I received one book for my birthday (La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman) and promptly read it.
November goal progress:
  1. books read: 3 of 2 books 
  2. books removed from list: 1; books added: 0; net result -1
  3. books read/removed from list from before 2015: 0 of 3;  from 2015: 0 of 2

Here's the updated list of Books to Read in 2017.  There were 46 books at the beginning of January, and there are 45 now, which seems like little progress, but most of them have changed - only 11 books are left on the list from last year or before  - books acquired in 2017 are underlined. I really must see if I can stop adding books to the list, at least until I get a few more removed...
  1. Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor (charity shop, April 2017)
  2. Elizabeth Aston, Mr Darcy's Daughters (from Taffy's house in Florida, April 2017)
  3. Susan Barker, The Incarnations (charity shop, July 2016)
  4. Philip Baruth, The Brothers Boswell (Waterstones Canterbury bargain bin, July 2015)
  5. Mikhail Bulgokov, The Master and Margarita (charity shop, April 2017)
  6. Jessie Burton, The Muse (Waitrose, January 2017)
  7. Joanna Cannon, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (Mother's Day 2017)
  8. Alexia Casale, The Bone Dragon (Waterstones Piccadilly, October 2017)
  9. Becky Chambers, A Closed and Common Orbit (Waterstones Piccadilly, October 2017)
  10. Tracy Chevalier, At the Edge of the Orchard  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  11. Emma Donohue, The Wonder (Waterstones Nottingham, July 2017)
  12. Bi Fieyu, Three Sisters (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  13. Ford Maddox Ford, Parade's End (Nov 2012 - birthday present - bought after the BBC adaptation - but I knew I wouldn't read it straight away as I wanted to let time pass from the adaptation.  Enough time has probably passed now...) *
  14. Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl (Waterstones Wimbledon, July 2017)
  15. Claire Fuller, Our Endless Numbered Days (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  16. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (would be a re-read, bought shortly after his death - spring 2014 - as I was reminded how much I enjoyed it and I didn't seem to own a copy - think my old one fell apart, probably...) *
  17. Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (2014)*
  18. Linda Grant, The Dark Circle (Waterstones Nottingham, July 2017)
  19. Hella Haasse, The Tea Lords (Bookhandel von Rossum, Amsterdam, August 2017)
  20. Mark Haddon (Introduction), Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  21. Christina Henry, Lost Boy (Waterstones Piccadilly, October 2017)
  22. Siri Hustvedt, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women (Waterstones Wimbledon, July 2017)
  23. John Irving, Avenue of Mysteries  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  24. N K Jemisin, The Fifth Season (AbeBooks, Sept 2017)
  25. Lynn Knight, The Button Box  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  26. Ernest van der Kwast, The Ice Cream Makers (Amsterdam, August 2017)
  27. Neil MacGregor, Germany: Memories of  a Nation (birthday present, Nov 2016)
  28. Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet (2nd Hand Shop, Brighton, October 2017)
  29. Edward Marston, The Railway Detective (Charity shop, Farnham, Sept 2017)
  30. Alice Mattison, The Book Borrower (Used Book Depot, Vero Beach, April 2017)
  31. Elizabeth McKenzie, The Portable Veblen (Mother's Day, 2017)
  32. Magnus Mills, The Restraint of Beasts (Abe Books, May 2017)
  33. Alice Munro, Runaway (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  34. Flannery O'Connor, Complete Stories (charity shop, December 2015)
  35. Maggie O'Farrell, This Must be the Place (Waterstones Brighton, October 2017)
  36. Orhan Pamuk. A Strangeness in Mind (Christmas present 2016)
  37. Michelle Paver, Dark Matter (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  38. Sara Perry, The Essex Serpent (Waterstones Nottingham, July 2017)
  39. Lucy Ribchester, The Hourglass Factory (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  40. Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram (Abe Books, July 2016)
  41. Marcus Sedgewick, She is not Invisible (Waterstones Oxford, August 2017)
  42. Jane Smiley, Early Warning (Abe Books, May 2017)
  43. Ali Smith, Autumn (Waterstones Brighton, October 2017)
  44. Sally Vickers, Cousins (Waterstones Wimbledon, July 2017)
  45. Lucy Worsley, A Very British Murder (Waterstones Oxford, August 2017)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dinner, 29/11/17: Ginger Beef with Tofu (itsu cookbook)


This was very tasty and easy - next time we might add some bamboo shoots or sugar snap peas or something of a vegetable nature as well. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dinner, 28/1/17: One Pan Spicy Rice (Alex cooking)


This is a simple dish of rice, spinach, cashews, raisins and curry paste which we have quite often on weeknights. Tonight Alex was cooking it...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Book 101: La Belle Sauvage, Philip Pullman


This book is the long awaited (by us at least) first book of the Book of Dust trilogy - a companion trilogy to Pullman's original Dark Materials trilogy. I got it for my birthday, and though I did finish the book I was reading, it didn't take long to get stuck into it. I did try to pace myself a little (i.e. not read it all in one sitting), but I admit, it didn't take longer than a few days to make my way through it. I found it very enjoyable, with some interesting new ideas and characters, though I do feel like the Big Ideas of this trilogy (purported to be some discussion on the nature of matter in line with the conversations about Dust in the previous trilogy) are yet to really make much of an appearance. That's not detrimental to the story, or anything, mind you. Of course, now the hard part will be waiting for the next book... Always the way of it. (As though I have nothing else to read, mind you!)

Dinner, 26/11/17: Oriental Chicken Noodle Soup


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dinner, 25/11/17: Chili casserole with courgettes


This was Geoff's creation - a way of using up leftover chili from the freezer - he griddled some courgettes and layered them on top, then added cheese and bits of tortilla chips. It was nice - the courgette texture was a nice addition. It doesn't look like much, but it tasted good!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Dinner, 24/11/17: Red Pork Curry with Green Beans and Hearts of Palm


Sarah recently made this for herself at uni -it's a dish we've had many times in the past - and that inspired me to cook it for us here at home...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Dinner, 22/11/17: Chorizo and Potato Quesadillas (Thomasina Miers)


I added some butternut squash to these as well, as I had a bit leftover in the fridge. We pretty much like quesadillas in any form in our house. What's not to like?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Book 100: Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje


Woo Hoo - hit my goal and it's still November, so I might even get a few more read before the end of the year... This was one I've been meaning to read for a while as I like Michael Ondaatje and a friend mentioned this was her favourite of them. When I saw it on the shelf in the charity shop I knew it was destiny, lol. I enjoyed it, parts of it immensely.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dinner (Lunch): 19/11/17: Roast Chicken, etc


Despite the usual birthday tradition of not cooking on my birthday (unless it's the day of my annual feast), I cooked lunch today because we had a friend in from the US - but we kept it simple with a nice roast chicken and potatoes - a lot less effort that way. For dessert we had homemade icecream, which Sarah made yesterday during the big cooking extravaganza...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Almost Vegan Birthday Feast (18/11/17)


On a weekend near my birthday, it's been my tradition - I think for about 9 or 10 years now - to have a group of girlfriends around for a feast. Many of my friends are vegetarian, plus one of my friends who has been coming in the past few years is also allergic to gluten and dairy, which means that vegan food is a good starting place - and then of course, there's the gluten free addition. She's also allergic to most nuts, so that doesn't help either. These dishes are mostly vegan except for some honey in one salad dressing and the tortilla, which has egg in it. Also, dessert featured egg in a large way. But otherwise, pretty varied despite the restrictions (and yummy...) Sarah was home for the weekend, so helped me with the cooking.



This first dish (above) is titled "Surprisingly Delicious Moroccan Cauliflower Salad" - which made me laugh  - it uses cauliflower "rice", which was useful because the cauliflower steaks, which we've had before several times, generate lots of leftover bits of cauli. The tahini yogurt sauce was made with soya yogurt, so it was dairy free. Tahini has such a strong taste you couldn't tell it was soya yogurt at all... Recipe: BBC Good Food Magazine


This is a lentil and butternut squash salad; I've made it lots of times before. (BBC Good Food)


This is a new one, though - it's a parsnip and brussel sprout bubble and squeak cake. It was gorgeous - and very Christmassy seeming - I'm considering cooking it again for Christmas dinner. (BBC Good Food)


This is a simple tortilla recipe, cooked in the oven and cut into pieces - I've made it before for parties.(BBC Good Food)


Here we have a Caribbean Vegetable Curry (with coconut cream on top) which I'd been planning to make for dinner a couple of weeks ago and never quite got around to - we'll definitely have it again, though as it was really nice. Spicy. (Sainsbury's Magazine)


This was perhaps the star of the evening, despite looking so ordinary -it was a "Burnt Aubergine Vegetable Chili" - and had a really brilliant smoky flavour, due to the aubergine.  I made some rice to go with both of those dishes. (BBC Good Food Magazine)


This was a Spanish Vegetable casserole and was nice, though not nearly as interesting as some of the other things. (Tesco Vegetarian Magazine)


This one you may recognise from other postings - it's Niomi Smart's Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce, which we think is an excellent dish. (Eat Smart by Niomi Smart).

It occurs to me now that I should have cooked Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe "Tamara's Ratatouille", but then again, you can't have everything. Maybe next year.


Dessert was meringues, with lots of fresh fruit and some cream (or soya cream). I put cocoa in some of the meringues, so they had a kind of marble effect. I say "I" - it was actually Sarah who made the meringues - ironic really, as she doesn't even like them...

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dinner, 17/11/17: Pizzas


Homemade pizza night. Tasty!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dinner, 15/11/17: Red Chili & Broccoli Pasta


The kids and I liked this, Geoff less so. It wasn't my favourite pasta dish ever, but I thought it's simplicity was nice.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dinner, 12/11/17: Bolognese Stuffed Peppers (Good Food)


Very tasty and warming, served with salad I think (though not pictured with it). Definitely one to have again. I altered the recipe by adding rice into the bolognese mixture - made it lighter, also less meaty.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dinner, 11/11/17: Celeriac Steaks with Salsa Verde


...and served with a garlicky white bean mash, which was particularly nice on the side. Yum. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Book 99: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood


Another in the Hogarth Shakespeare Series: I read Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler - a Taming of the Shrew re-imagining this summer and it was ok, but not brilliant - this is much better. Indeed, excellent. This is, perhaps obviously, based on the Tempest, and it's very cleverly constructed as well as being an engaging tale in and of itself. It's also, perhaps surprisingly, as a substantial portion of it is set in a prison, very funny. The other Hogarth authors will have a hard time bettering this.

Dinner, 8/11/17: Mixed bean Goulash (Alex cooking)


And we made cornbread to go with it.  Yum. (The cornbread isn't vegan.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Dinner, 7/11/17: Creamy Lemon Cabbage Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs (Good Food)


We especially like the garlic breadcrumbs with this one - great texture contrast.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Dinner, 6/11/17: Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup


One of the things that's always a mystery to me is how food magazines can photograph soups with a garnish (like crispy bits of bacon) - they always fall to the bottom. The soup still tastes great, but the garnish doesn't float on top (unless it's chopped herbs or something). 

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Dinner, 4/11/17: Jacket Potatoes with Toppings & Bacon


When Geoff was a kid, they always had baked potatoes on Bonfire Night - we think this is an excellent tradition. Of course, we also have jacket potatoes on other nights - it's a nice, easy meal which everyone likes, which is warm and filling in the winter. 

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Dinner, 1/11/17: Chili (Geoff cooking)


October Roundup

WHAT WAS FOR DINNER, OCTOBER 2017

  • 31st: Courgette & Mushroom Tart
  • 30th: Leftover Mac& Cheese
  • 29th: Thai style baked fish, potatoes, carrots
  • 28th: Macaroni Cheese with spinach & walnuts
  • 27th: Dinner out for Liv's birthday
  • 26th: Cheeseburger Quesadillas
  • 25th: Pork Curry
  • 24th: Chicken Laksa
  • 23rd: Purple sprouting broc with butter beans, etc
  • 22nd: Leftover lamb shanks in tomato sauce
  • 21st: Roast Pork, roast potatoes, cabbage
  • 20th: Indian takeaway
  • 19th: fend for yourself
  • 18th: Spag bol (freezer)
  • 17th: Spicy Indian Potato Wraps
  • 16th: Thai Pork Stir-Fry
  • 15th: Fennel & Bacon Risotto
  • 14th: Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Tomato & Garlic
  • 13th: Goat Cheese, Parma ham & Sun-dried tomato pizza
  • 12th: Fend for yourself
  • 11th: Spaghetti with Pesto, Peas & Soya Beans
  • 10th: Mexican Bean & Tortilla Bake
  • 9th: Summer White Bean & Tarragon Soup
  • 8th: Teriyaki Salmon, New Potatoes, Courgettes
  • 7th: Creamy Cider & Mustard Chicken, Mash, Broccoli
  • 6th: Pasta with pesto Genovese
  • 5th: Fend for yourself
  • 4th: Fend for yourself
  • 3rd: Chicken Katsu Curry
  • 2nd: Out in Wimbledon before Theatre
  • 1st: Out with Sarah in Brighton

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Book Progress Update - October


At the start of the year, I set a few reading goals, with the overall aim of trying to make my way through books I've had for a while and haven't read, and trying not to acquire too many new books. The goals were:
  1. Read at least 100 books in 2017 (approximately 2 per week; hopefully I can accomplish this)
  2. Buy/acquire fewer books each month than I remove from my TBR shelf/list
  3. Read or otherwise get rid of at least 1 of the books I've had since before 2015 (there were 4 on the list at the start of the year) and at least three of the books I  bought during 2015 (12 on the list)
They are (fairly) reasonable goals, which shouldn't stress me too much. In theory.

In January:  books read: 8; list reduced by: 2; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In February: books read: 12; list reduced by: 11; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In March: books read: 8; list increased by: 1;  pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0
In April: books read: 10; list increased by: 8; pre-2015 reduction: 1; 2015 reduction: 3
In May: books read, 14; list reduced by: 1; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 3
In June: books read, 9; list reduced by: 3; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0
In July: books read: 7; list increased by: 5; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In August: books read: 15; list reduced by: 1; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 1
In September: books read: 8; listed increased by: 1; pre-2015 reduction: 0; 2015 reduction: 0

And now, for October: 
  • I read two books from my list (A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley)
  • I read one book which I bought in Waterstones in Brighton on October 1st, but didn't really get a chance to add to my list (Wonder by R J Palacio)
  • I read one book I picked up in a charity shop and started straight away (The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell) because I needed a book while waiting for someone
  • I read two books which were in the house already (The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness and Disturbance by Jan Burke)
  • I read one book which I picked up at the RA earlier in the month, and again, started straight away, so it never made it on my list (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, Grayson Perry/ Wendy Jones)
  • I bought three books in Waterstones in Brighton (but read one of them almost straight away) and one in a second hand shop there. And then I bought some more books in other places, because I'm like that! I did buy some birthday presents, which don't count, but of course as I was in the bookshop, it seemed rude to go away without buying anything for myself... And then there was the time I was stuck in a coffee shop with no book, so had to get something from the charity shop next door. And I bought a book in the shop in an art gallery, but I did start reading it straight away, so it's not on The List.... Oh well, excuses excuses! And yes, right at the end of the month, I bought some more books in another Waterstones because we were doing some early Christmas shopping.
October goal progress:
  1. books read: 7 of 9 books 
  2. books removed from list: 2; books added: 6; net result +4
  3. books read/removed from list from before 2015: 0 of 3;  from 2015: 0 of 2

Here's the updated list of Books to Read in 2017.  There were 46 books at the beginning of January, and there are now 47, which seems like a net loss, but most of them have changed - only 11 books are left on the year from last year or before  - books acquired in 2017 are underlined. I really must see if I can stop adding books to the list, at least until I get a few more removed...
  1. Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor (charity shop, April 2017)
  2. Elizabeth Aston, Mr Darcy's Daughters (from Taffy's house in Florida, April 2017)
  3. Susan Barker, The Incarnations (charity shop, July 2016)
  4. Philip Baruth, The Brothers Boswell (Waterstones Canterbury bargain bin, July 2015)
  5. Mikhail Bulgokov, The Master and Margarita (charity shop, April 2017)
  6. Jessie Burton, The Muse (Waitrose, January 2017)
  7. Joanna Cannon, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (Mother's Day 2017)
  8. Alexia Casale, The Bone Dragon (Waterstones Piccadilly, October 2017)
  9. Becky Chambers, A Closed and Common Orbit (Waterstones Piccadilly, October 2017)
  10. Tracy Chevalier, At the Edge of the Orchard  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  11. Emma Donohue, The Wonder (Waterstones Nottingham, July 2017)
  12. Bi Fieyu, Three Sisters (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  13. Ford Maddox Ford, Parade's End (Nov 2012 - birthday present - bought after the BBC adaptation - but I knew I wouldn't read it straight away as I wanted to let time pass from the adaptation.  Enough time has probably passed now...) *
  14. Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl (Waterstones Wimbledon, July 2017)
  15. Claire Fuller, Our Endless Numbered Days (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  16. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (would be a re-read, bought shortly after his death - spring 2014 - as I was reminded how much I enjoyed it and I didn't seem to own a copy - think my old one fell apart, probably...) *
  17. Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (2014)*
  18. Linda Grant, The Dark Circle (Waterstones Nottingham, July 2017)
  19. Hella Haasse, The Tea Lords (Bookhandel von Rossum, Amsterdam, August 2017)
  20. Mark Haddon (Introduction), Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  21. Christina Henry, Lost Boy (Waterstones Piccadilly, October 2017)
  22. Siri Hustvedt, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women (Waterstones Wimbledon, July 2017)
  23. John Irving, Avenue of Mysteries  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  24. N K Jemisin, The Fifth Season (AbeBooks, Sept 2017)
  25. Lynn Knight, The Button Box  (Waterstones Piccadilly, April 2017)
  26. Ernest van der Kwast, The Ice Cream Makers (Amsterdam, August 2017)
  27. Neil MacGregor, Germany: Memories of  a Nation (birthday present, Nov 2016)
  28. Ben Marcus, The Flame Alphabet (2nd Hand Shop, Brighton, October 2017)
  29. Edward Marston, The Railway Detective (Charity shop, Farnham, Sept 2017)
  30. Alice Mattison, The Book Borrower (Used Book Depot, Vero Beach, April 2017)
  31. Elizabeth McKenzie, The Portable Veblen (Mother's Day, 2017)
  32. Magnus Mills, The Restraint of Beasts (Abe Books, May 2017)
  33. Alice Munro, Runaway (Waterstones Piccadilly, March 2016)
  34. Flannery O'Connor, Complete Stories (charity shop, December 2015)
  35. Maggie O'Farrell, This Must be the Place (Waterstones Brighton, October 2017)
  36. Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero (charity shop , April 2017)
  37. Orhan Pamuk. A Strangeness in Mind (Christmas present 2016)
  38. Michelle Paver, Dark Matter (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  39. Sara Perry, The Essex Serpent (Waterstones Nottingham, July 2017)
  40. Lucy Ribchester, The Hourglass Factory (charity shop, Farnham, September 2017)
  41. Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram (Abe Books, July 2016)
  42. Marcus Sedgewick, She is not Invisible (Waterstones Oxford, August 2017)
  43. Jane Smiley, Early Warning (Abe Books, May 2017)
  44. Ali Smith, Autumn (Waterstones Brighton, October 2017)
  45. Sally Vickers, Cousins (Waterstones Wimbledon, July 2017)
  46. Lucy Worsley, A Very British Murder (Waterstones Oxford, August 2017)

Dinner, 31/10/17: Courgette & Mushroom Tart


An old standby. Puff pastry, red pesto, thinly sliced courgettes and mushrooms, grated mozzarella. And there you have it.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Book 98: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, Grayson Perry (Wendy Jones)


Picked this up when I was up at the RA a few weeks ago; I've read articles/interviews by/with Perry before and he always struck me as incredibly intelligent and articulate, so despite my general tendencies away from non-fiction I thought this would be really interesting. And it is. Quite an interesting exploration of his formation as an artist and his discovery of his transvestism. A couple of times in bookshops I've been drawn to his book about men and manliness (The Descent of Man) but haven't yet bought it; this memoir makes me think I probably should do so.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book 97: The Girl Next Door, Ruth Rendell


Picked this up in a charity shop when I was caught out without a book and had to meet someone in a coffee shop; Ruth Rendell is always reliable. This isn't so much a mystery, as we pretty much know whodunnit from near the beginning, but the stories all unfold and unravel and it's well done. 

Dinner, 29/10/17: Thai Style Baked Fish


This was baked in foil - really nice. It's trout, but you could use other fish. Flavourful and moist.