26 March 2009

From Food to Books

Little break from the usual. I was tagged by The Egalitarian Bookworm on a literary meme that looks like fun, so why not?

1) What author do you own the most books by? I've just gotten into trying to read multiple books by an author, and I have a few favourites, but in terms of owning Tolkien still takes the cake.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? Multiple copies of the same book? Um, I don't know, I have a couple accidental duplicates but that's it.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Yes! (Pet peeve.)

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Hmm. I had to think about that a little, since I don't really have book-crushes. Maybe Eowyn?

4a) What fictional character would you most like to be? Glorfindel! (I'm a broken effing record, I know.)

4b) What fictional character do you think most resembles you? I don't actually know of any, to be perfectly honest. A book about someone who works as hard as I do would be frankly boring!

5) What book have you read the most times in your life? Hmm, this is another one where I just don't read things multiple times. Probably the Book of Tao, actually.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old? Oh God. The entire Babysitters Club series.

7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year? A book called Working in Language and the Law by a rather arrogant and obtuse forensic linguist.

8) What is the best book you've read in the past year? The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be? Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin. Though I might trump it with Yes Means Yes edited by Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature? Ian McEwan.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? How about Emma Donoghue's Hood? That could be great with the right director.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? Oh, I don't know. Ulysses, ha.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. I don't know that I've ever had such a dream. Or actually, I did once dream that I was a hobbit. That was pretty weird.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult? Um. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?

15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read? Possession by A.S. Byatt.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen? I've only seen Macbeth.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? Don't make me choose between my two favourites, come on!

18) Roth or Updike? Not familiar with either.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? I haven't read Dave Eggers yet. I like Sedaris in the New Yorker but less in book form.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Milton.

21) Austen or Eliot? Assuming we mean George, then Eliot.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? Oh God, there are a lot of those. I really haven't read many of the "modern classics," which I'm trying to remedy, but maybe Victorian England would be the most embarrassing. I've only read a couple of the classics.

23) What is your favorite novel? That's just a mean question. I don't know if an epic like LOTR counts. If not, then I think I'd probably say Mrs. Dalloway.

24) Play? The Importance of Being Earnest. (Though I'm sure once I read the play version of the History Boys I'll change my answer.)

25) Poem? Ferlinghetti, L'Occupation Obsédée,

26) Essay? It's hard to think of a single essay. I remember the collections better, my favourite being Sarah Vowell's Take the Cannoli.

27) Short story? Ooh, here we hit a gap.

28) Work of non-fiction? Probably Foer, Soccer Against the Enemy.

29) Who is your favorite writer? Tolkien! After that Virginia Woolf, Ian McEwan, Alan Hollinghurst, David Levithan.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? Ooh, I'm not sure. Maybe Meyers but I haven't read her stuff yet.

31) What is your desert island book? Lord of the Rings? *ducks*

32) And ... what are you reading right now? Sarah Waters, Tipping the Velvet (awesome!)

As for tagging, it's hard to know which bloggers/LJers are readers, but I'm going to go with:
Amanda Mae
Rachel (of Coconut and Lime)

21 March 2009

Restaurant Review: Les Salades de Provence, West Hollywood

I think it's just about time I admit defeat. I'm never actually going to be able to post all the photos and recipes that I have "in the queue" in order. By trying to do that, I'm depriving you all of recent recipes that are actually, you know, in season. So by that token, I'm just going to try to post as much as I can until I finish my law classes in June, and then it'll be back to your regularly scheduled, at least once a week posting schedule.

That said, I wanted to let you know about a fabulous little restaurant I discovered on my recent trip to Los Angeles for an academic conference. For that matter, the food at the conference itself was fabulous, but this little French place in West Hollywood is worth writing home about. The ambiance is simple, and though the outdoor terrace adjoins a very loud, busy street, I couldn't help but sit outside. After all, it isn't often you get sunny and sixty-eight degrees in Iowa. The owner was the only staff person present when I showed up, admittedly at an odd hour (when you've just flown through a couple of time zones, 4 pm seems like a perfectly logical time for a meal). He was very kind and it was a joy to speak French again. I even got a little card for a free glass of wine with my next meal, which I gave to a local friend. The salad I ordered was quite large, as you can see, and very filling. I loved the little polenta triangles, and the fresh mozzarella. I also love the very French touches - a carafe d'eau, the little toast squares. They're open for three meals a day, and besides a number of salads they offer quiches, including a daily special. They also do crepes, croissants, and other French fair for breakfast and a prix fixe brunch. Located at the corner of La Cienga and Holloway.

Also, I have to express my glee at finding the conference hotel right next to a Trader Joe's. I'm absolutely in love with Trader Joe's, yet I never manage to live near one. As you can see, I stocked up, and all this was only $20. Unfortunately the airline restrictions meant no raspberry fruit spread or blueberry dessert spread, but I did eat an entire punnet of strawberries for breakfast. Fresh fruit! Almost makes me want to live in California. I also highly recommend their toffee, of any flavour. Delish.

17 March 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

I'll have food for you soon. Until then, a photo of myself in Youghal, Ireland, from when I lived in Cork at the ripe young age of 21: