Did anyone notice there was no Book News Roundup last Friday? I’ve been making sure to post one every Friday since December, but last week I was home sick with a cold, nestled under my striped Pendleton blanket, unable to muster the strength to do anything other than book graze.
That is what I call the act of “reading” when you are unable to concentrate on any single narrative for too long, and it’s the perfect type of reading to do when you are home sick. Book grazing is when you read easily digestible little bits and pieces of books and other reading materials that have short blurbs of text and lots of pretty pictures. These are the types of books I always check out from the library but don’t seem to get to because I have an engrossing new novel waiting for me to sink my teeth into. But when I’m sick, that big novel seems to require too much energy.
Book grazing. It’s the best. Here is what I grazed on last Friday:
Humans of New York, by Brandon Stanton, is a photographic portrait collection featuring New Yorkers, accompanied by snippets of conversation between the subject and photographer. Based on Stanton’s blog, the collection is quirky, often hilarious, and frequently poignant.
Dinner: A Love Story, by Jenny Rosenstrach is one of those cookbooks that includes fun anecdotes by the delightful author, as well as cooking techniques and beautiful food photography. Also based on a blog, this cookbook celebrates simple yet interesting home cooking for families during the course of different life periods — from the childless newlyweds era to busy weeknights with the offspring.
Undecorate: The No Rules Approach to Interior Design, by Christiane Lemieux is a manifesto for tasteful disarray. It’s not anti-Martha Stewart, per se, but Lemieux does encourage a lackadaisical approach to decorating. Perfect for those sick days when you don’t want to feel too bad about the little tableaus of tissue paper, cough drops and DVD stacks adorning your side table (where the tasteful candle holders, flower arrangements and professionally framed photos probably should be).
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides are perfect for the earliest phases of trip planning, like when you’re not even sure where you want to go, because they are chock full of images and light on detailed travel information. You won’t use these for picking out a hotel or restaurant (Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and Rick Steves are my go-tos there), but you will use them to decide whether you a.) want to go to Turkey vs. Greece and b.) once you’ve decided Turkey, want to spend more time in Istanbul or along the Turkish Mediterranean Coast. (The answer to the latter is the coast, of course — at least for this beach-loving gal).
So let this be your guide for when you are under the weather: Put that heftily serious tome down and give yourself a break. Do a little book grazing, take some cold and sinus meds, and wear your favorite ugly slippers. You’ll feel better tomorrow.