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did you read?

In honor of one of my favorite Portlandia skits, I’m starting a new feature I’ll call “Did you read?” where I can share cool stuff I’ve read lately. I’ve shared some reviews before but normally haphazardly. I’m hoping to get my shit act together. We’ll see. Before I begin, I need to name the process (evidently, I like to name stuff before I do it). So let’s call it Operation Organize Other Odds-n-ends, or “Oooo.” What do you think?

First order of business: Update blogroll. Check out the right sidebar to see the new roll!  The blogs will change periodically because I have it set to show the five most-recently updated posts in each category. I love humorous blogs and have been following them all this time, but it only just occurred to me to share the hilarity with you. Promise I wasn’t hogging the fun on purpose. Okay, maybe just a little.

Along the lines of hunting for new blogs, did you see that nominees for the Bloggies have been announced? I know, blog awards might sound a touch silly, but there are some great blogs to have been nominated, some of which I already read and love. These awards are a good way to find new blogs, and the best part is you can search by category. Here are a few I’d like to highlight as great reads:

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Attainable Sustainable writes about reviving the lost art of self-sufficiency. My hero!
The Oatmeal is a collection of comic strips. I could spend all day snort-laughing on his site.   The Bloggess writes about…hmmm…well…metal chickens and red dresses. She’s hilarious!
Now for the real-live-paper-things you can read called books. Remember them? I am reading lots these days! I love the feeling of showing up at the library and, while checking out our usual four books and two movies in the kids’ section, having the sweet lady behind the counter say “Oh, you have something to pick up upstairs.” In Mommy’s area, where the girls know they need to be good or else endure the wrath of the mom-glare. I’ve gotten good at it.
imageTime for Dinner is a book written in part by one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Rosenstrach of Dinner: A Love Story. I borrowed it from the library so had to return it prior to making many of the recipes, but what I love about it isn’t actually the recipes themselves. These days it’s easy to find plenty of recipes for kids online. However, I haven’t seen as many great ideas for healthy and quick ingredients to have on hand in the pantry and fridge, like pomegranate juice or Wondra flour; the entire first chapter of this book is dedicated to this topic. There are some priceless tips!
imageNo doubt you know about The Great Gatsby already. I mentioned recently that I read it at the first meeting of my new book club, but I never stated my impression. I’d read it in high school but remembered feeling nonplussed about it. What does it all mean? Who cares? Why do they make high schoolers read it anyway? I’m often bewildered at the sophomore year selections…The Bell Jar, TheCatcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace. Great novels, yes, but for a 15-year-old? Perhaps it’s living in New England, or understanding class differences better, or maybe it’s just that Fitzgerald had an incredible talent with words, but I adored it this time around. If you felt as I did back then, give it another try!

What have you read recently that stands out? I’d love to hear about it.