Summer has seemingly arrived – at least in every sense of what it means to me in this season of life (which includes but is not limited to reruns of Grey’s Anatomy, foggy San Francisco mornings and upcoming “just because” trips and visits, to be precise).
With it comes the freedom of burden, which for me mostly pertains to the books I choose to read after Canon’s been put to sleep, with a glass of cold Chardonnay to my right, and the television off for the evening. And lately, with the sun warming my bare feet through the front bay windows, I’ve found myself cozying up with – you guessed it – a cookbook.
Hear me out: I feel like I’m totally cheating, in even calling a cookbook a real to-be-read book. I mean, shouldn’t I be laboriously flipping through pages of – at least – brainless fiction, and for the love of all that is holy finally finishing Les Mes (which I’m still only 42% of the way through – Bueller? Bueller?).
But lately I’ve been working on not shoulding myself: I should lose the remaining baby weight. I should clean my closet and scrub the floors and have you glanced at the dust boards lately, self? I should market myself and promote the blog and find my audience (exclamation point). I should, I should, I should …ever striving towards an unattainable list of expectations that, frankly, I’m never going to fully meet or ever achieve.
So for me, even when it comes to the seemingly silly, non-shoulding task of book-reading, I’m in. I’m saying yes to being in the moment, and to reading what I want to read and to flinging the shoulds out the window.
And then maybe – just maybe – I’ll be exactly where I’m supposed to be.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve read The Pioneer Woman Cooks and weelicious this past week, and am now thoroughly engrossed in Gas Grill Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens (grunt grunt). If one were to summarize the three, the following subtitle might be produced: “Butter-dripping, bacon-induced, HMO-free, organically-produced, family-friendly bites, any cowboy can cook on the backyard grill!”
And in case you’re now really, really wondering what books I might, no-shoulding-allowed attempt to read this summer, here’s my current stack:
Brainless fiction: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (Semple), Dark Places (Flynn) and maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally start reading the Harry Potter series.
Think-worthy fiction: White Tiger (Adiga).
YA fiction: Looking for Alaska (Green).
Christian/Inspirational: Circle of Quiet (as I am most decidedly now obsessed with Madeleine L’Engle) and Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes (Bailey).
Food-related non-cookbooks: French Women Don’t Get Fat (Guiliano) and Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table (Fisher, Child & Waters).
Parenting: Momma Zen (Miller)
Writing: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (King)
…and then, of course, whatever cookbooks I fancy I should take a peek at.
What’s on your summer reading list? How do you need to stop shoulding yourself?0