Porch Reads No. 3

Summer Reading 3

On this (day after the) unofficial last day of summer, I’m making a last-ditch effort to memorialize the final part of my summer reading effort. I’m already on the verge of forgetting everything I loved and despised about these books, because I just started my first semester of vet school. It’s only the beginning of my second week, but my routine–and frankly, my entire lifestyle–has been upset. I’m glad for it, because this is the kind of upset that’s going to change me for the better, but it does mean that my priorities have shifted. Oh, the time I once devoted to reading! Where has it gone?! In reality, it’s only been one week, but a week ago feels like a lifetime ago.

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Porch Reads No. 2

Summer Reading 2

The Remains of the Day has been recommended to me over and over again. Finally, when I saw it at my favorite used book store, I picked it up and shelved it. Somehow, the book never made it to the top of my reading list, though. Despite my affinity for Downton Abbey and all manner of British period pieces, it seemed too blatantly Anglophilic for me. I don’t enjoy reading just anything written about British people, but I do appreciate that uniquely British pairing of scathing humor with unnatural, almost illogical, stoicism. That’s why I enjoy Evelyn Waugh’s books, for example, or the lovely gem that is William Boyd’s Any Human Heart—one of my favorite reads of the year. In more ways than I had expected, Kazuo Ishiguro’s book was different from my usual fare.

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Spring Cocktails No. 4

Song Bird

Welcome to the final post in my spring cocktail spree. I’ve waxed poetic about a simple classic, the perfect drink for a lazy afternoon, and a wild mess of my own creation. Now, it’s time to introduce another springtime favorite: Green Chartreuse. Hang in there, because I can’t do this miraculous liquid justice with a brief description. Skip to the end if you’re only here for the the recipes. Then, maybe jump back up here when you have a drink in hand.

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Spring Cocktails No. 3

The Phryne Fixin's

Hello, you gin fiend, you. Welcome back to my spring cocktail series. I’ve covered my favorite gin classics—the martini and the gimlet—in previous posts, and now I’m turning to something a bit ridiculous of my own creation. I like to imagine this is what the fabulous Phryne Fisher was drinking in Away with the Fairies, when the bartender at her Adventuresses Club created a cocktail in her name.

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Embracing the Morning

A thought-provoking ocean view
Morning on Moraca Playa, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening…

excerpt from “Morning” by Billy Collins

Morning is my favorite time of day. I like to be up bright and early, but, if I can help it, I don’t like to leave the house first thing in the morning. That way, I can start my day in the most unhurried way possible. If I have the luxury of waking up slowly, I feel calm and focused, and then I’m ready to start my work. Like the speaker in Billy Collins’ poem, I feel potent and alive in the morning. A little caffeine coursing through my veins doesn’t hurt, either. Read more