Bi-Weekly Roundup September 20 – October 3

Welcome to the weekly roundup on Ink in the Archives! Every week I will share what I’ve been up to and interested in and ask you to fill me in on your week too.

Eventful Events and Happening Happenings

What even is an event anymore? I’m basically going crazy from staring at my computer screen at this point from too many classes with too many assignments and too many discussion boards.

I did make myself a desk though–my first IKEA hack. I’ll post about it later this week and show you the result!

Books Read

I should probably preface this list by mentioning that I’m doing historical research on cookbooks right now for a historical research methods class. So I’ve been reading and am continuing to read A LOT about food, cookbooks, gender, and so on. It’s pretty great actually, very enjoyable and interesting, but some (most) of it is very dense. So I haven’t had a lot of time to read fiction.

A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told Through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances by Laura Schenone If you’re interested in food and women’s history, this book is a great and very accessible place to start. Schenone’s background is in journalism and she combines interviews with in-depth historical research to provide a history of women and cooking in the United States from indigenous women’s techniques to frozen dinners. It’s a little bit dated at this point since it’s almost twenty years old, but it’s still a good read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan Since we’ve really been trying to stay inside, and since most of our favorite places are closed, Robin Sloan’s writing about San Francisco could not be more poignant for me. I love reading about the places around the city that I love or that I haven’t discovered yet. Throw in a secret society and I’m hooked. I also really like the line Sloan walks between respect for technological advances and craft, which was also evident in Sourdough. I think this really captures some of the mindset of the Bay area.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Secret Ingredients: Race, Gender, and Class at the Dinner Table by Sherrie A. Inness The author’s writing is really accessible, and I should know because I’ve spent a lot of time reading her work in the past weeks. This book looks at the ways in which women have resisted conservative views of gender and domesticity through writing cookbooks, and it’s really got a lot of good evidence and ideas. The writing could certainly be less repetitive and the arguments could be more insightful from the details she observes, but it was definitely a worthwhile book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Tasteful Domesticity: Women’s Rhetoric and the American Cookbook by Sarah W. Walden This book is really good–thorough, revealing, and a great addition to the history of cookbooks and women. It is extremely theoretically dense, but it’s also quite insightful. There were a couple chapters I mostly skimmed, but the chapters on virtue and race in cookbooks were really worthwhile.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan I’m not even sure I should count this novella as a book per se, but I’m going to because I read it and I’ve hardly had time to read anything. I wanted to read this novella while the book was still fresh. It’s a short prequel to the events of the novel, but it’s a nice little addition to the universe, if, like me you feel that Robin Sloan’s work is really enjoyable and that there’s not enough of it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pilaf, Pozole & Pad Thai, ed. by Sherrie A. Inness This book explores how “ethnic” food influences U.S. American cuisine through a series of essays by different writers. Some of the essays were brilliant and very helpful to my research, but overall I found this collection to be uneven. If you’re looking for food writing, this would not be my first suggestion.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Movies Watched

I did not make much progress in the movie watching department in the last couple of weeks. So many projects were due… However I did watch these two:

Ibiza: Love Drunk (2018) Is this movie the best? No. Did it make me laugh my ass off? Yes. Probably more so than anything I’ve seen recently. It’s a great escape from the everyday as three (improbably good looking) friends make their way to Spain, turning a work trip into a vacation and, of course, a chance at true love. Or at least some good looking dudes. It’s ridiculous, but I think it may take your mind off of life right now. As a warning, there is a lot of drug use in it. Netflix original.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Enola Holmes (2020) I mean you had me at Holmes, really. Plus with Helena Bonham Carter how could you go wrong? And Henry Cavill may be too sexy to play Sherlock, but I’m not going to complain because when Netflix gives you a horse, you shouldn’t look it in the mouth. No really don’t–there’s probably way too much corporate greed and the need to churn out content in there. Especially content that only touches in the most superficial way on women’s rights and breaks the fourth wall all the time… But still there’s something very charming about it. I find Enola to be an earnest character and I think she makes a good connection with the viewer. The clothes are fun, there’s plenty of crossdressing, and viscounts with ridiculous names… I didn’t mind escaping into this (probably too neatly tied up) whodunit through Victorian London (though it’s more of a where’dshego, really). Netflix original.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Links/Articles

Please know that I’m not paid for my opinions about anything. I just like to share things that strike me as interesting, useful, or engaging.

Are you looking to become a better ally/listener/friend/advocate? You may want to check out Amélie Lamont’s Guide to Allyship.

Does anyone else have a Skillshare subscription? My partner got one for me for my birthday, and I think it’s a great gift idea. I’m currently taking a class on drawing your feelings that I really like.

How was your week? Let me know in the comments!

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