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Critical Linking

Reading Cookbooks For Comfort: Critical Linking, April 28, 2020

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web is sponsored by our Debbie Macomber prize pack giveaway! Enter here.

“No shade to Mark, but I don’t use HTCE much for cooking. I consult it for things like bread-baking (okay, I did that once) and for his fried-rice technique, but I gravitate toward cookbooks that are more curated than encyclopedic. But ever since Panic Attack Day, it’s been my most effective form of therapy, second only to actual therapy. In moments when the anxiety starts bubbling in my chest, I open to a random page and read it through. I’ve read the recipe for Bean Griddlecakes (“These are amazing,” begins the headnote), as well as “10 Additions to Bean Griddlecakes” and “6 Sauces for Bean Griddlecakes.” I know “What to Expect from Whole Wheat Pasta” and how Mark suggests removing a fish head (“Use a mallet to pound the knife through the backbone, if necessary”). I’ve read all about “Comforting Soups” and have not made a single one.”

Reading cookbooks for comfort and to combat anxiety—no cooking involved.

“Kaplan says he may reopen his bookstore cafes for takeout “soon,” and some aspects of the stores’ appeal have continued online. Tonight, for instance, customers can purchase an e-ticket for a digital conversation with Madeleine Albright (author of the new memoir Hell and Other Destinations), which was scheduled to have been hosted in person.

And, while he’s figuring out how to make the business work today and tomorrow, he’s still reading. A lot. In our conversation yesterday, we asked Kaplan for his recommendations on recent books in various genres, and here’s what he suggested.”

Owner of Books & Books with book recs!

“This is not unprecedented.

Not the presence of a new disease. Not the enforced social measures that fragment how we interact, and who with. Not the laying to waste of the environment. Not the strategies of triage, and stratified disposability of human lives.

I think of this every time I get a communication from someone that starts with a sentence about our ‘unprecedented’ or ‘exceptional’ situation. I’m not the only one to see it. Indigenous scholars globally – across epidemiology, economics, public health, critical race studies, and law – have noted it. For mob, these events are precedented – horrifically, recently, and at a scale that those who casually compare home isolation to “prison” could not even comprehend, as Tabitha Lean writes for IndigenousX.”

Turning to poetry by First Nations people.