Gray, chilly, bleak, rainy day here. We are spoiled by all the San Diego sun. Days like today make me feel like I’m made of tissue paper, in danger of dissolving during the brief sprint from house to car.
We had to go out for a while this morning, and now we’re home, and I am feeling considerably cheered by the tortilla chicken soup simmering in my slow cooker. (Not the chai kind.) A couple of gingerbread cookies helped too. Now I’m snuggling under a quilt and wishing I had some good tea, the fruity, tangy, zinger kind. Instead I’ve got a fat baby and a good book, as soon as I put this laptop away (in about three minutes). I’m halfway through The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and it’s just right for a blustery, waterlogged day like this.
I can see why Jane liked it so much; the heroine is a precocious eleven-year-old growing up on an old British estate around 1950, a motherless imp whose chief entertainments are distilling evil poisons in a long-dead relative’s abandoned chemistry lab and tormenting her two older sisters. Her father is a distracted philatelist who occasionally mourns his wife’s loss by sitting and weeping in her bunkered and dust-covered Rolls Royce. This sounds like the makings of a children’s novel, but it’s an adult murder mystery, really. Young Flavia, our budding chemist, stumbles upon a dying man in the cucumber patch one very early dawn, and she seems determined to muck up the police investigation as much as possible by solving the mystery herself first.
Speaking of delightful, I bet I’ve watched this video clip (via BoingBoing) ten times in the past few days. It’s from an upcoming documentary called Babies, about the lives of four infants from birth to age one in Namibia, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Mongolia. We can’t wait.
Tuesday Morning Booknotes
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