Sunday, April 17, 2016

Recent Acquisitions

Durham County Library Book Sale

  • Imaginary Lands edited by Robin McKinley.
  • The 1981 Annual World's Best SF edited by Donald A. Wollheim. (Wollheim always had such odd taste, and this volume is no exception. About half his selections are quality; the rest are just completely mediocre and instantly forgettable.)
  • Moonsinger's Friends: Stories In Honor of Andre Norton edited by Susan Shwartz. (A festschrift. The editorial material is fannily fawning and overly gushy.)
  • Plutarch's Lives translated by John Dryden. (Modern Library; good condition hardcover.)
  • World of Our Fathers: The Journey Of The East European Jews To America And The Life They Found And Made by Irving Howe. (This big paperback looked in good condition until I got it home and was looking through it; then the spine cracked. Never trust a paperback. I ordered a used hardback online this morning.)
  • Mysterious New England by the editors of Yankee Magazine.
  • Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis. (Modern Library. Do I ever plan to actually read any Lewis? Doubtful.)
  • The Decameron by Boccaccio. (Modern Library.)
  • War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy. (Modern Library. The Constance Garnett translation.)
  • The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends & Their Meanings by Jan Harold Brunvand.
  • Gabriele d'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer, And Preacher of War by Lucy Hughes-Hallett.
  • Isaac Asimov Presents the Best Science Fiction of the 19th Century edited by Isaac Asimov, Charles G. Waugh & Martin Greenberg. (As far as I can tell, Asimov only contributed the introduction, which cannibalizes other of his essays. The individual story intros seem to all be Waugh and/or Greenberg, since they are actually informative.)
  • The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken by Terry Teachout.
  • The Portable Renaissance Reader edited by James Bruce Ross and Mary Martin McLaughlin. (Despite what I said above about paperbacks, this one seems to be in good condition for its age.)
  • Medieval Russia's Epics, Chronicles And Tales edited by Sege A. Zenkovsky.
  • Conan Doyle: A Biographical Solution by Ronald Pearsall. (I think this is my third Doyle biography. Probably have that area covered now.)
  • Dreamtigers translated by Mildred Boyer and Harold Morland.
  • A Universal History of Infamy by Jorge Luis Borges.
  • As They Were by M.F.K. Fisher. (Essays.)
  • The Eye Of The Queen by Phillip Mann. (Have never heard anything about this one way or another; just got it because I used to see it listed in those Science Fiction Book Club ads in the SF mags. Who says advertising doesn't work - eventually?)
  • Skyscraper: The Making Of A Building by Karl Sabbach.
  • Talleyrand: A Biography by J.F. Bernard. (My second Talleyrand bio.)
  • Charles Dickens by Claire Tomalin.
  • Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life by Hugh Brogan.
  • The Swords of The Spirits Trilogy by John Christopher. (Found all three volumes scattered around on the table.)
  • Alastor by Jack Vance. (Omnibus of Trullion, Marune, and Wyst. Already had all three in individual pbs.)
  • Starfish by Peter Watts. (Brrrr!)
  • The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson by Daniel J. Boorstin.
  • A Diary From Dixie by Mary Boykin Chesnut.
  • The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-71 by Alistair Horne.
  • Quag Keep by Andre Norton.
  • Star Guard by Andre Norton.
  • "Our Crowd": The Great Jewish Families of New York by Stephen Birmingham. (The great German-Jewish families of New York, that is. Read this as a teen.)
  • Wilson by A. Scott Berg. (Woodrow Wilson, that is.)
  • Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence by Garry Wills.
  • 1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year That Transformed America by David Pietrusza. (Really tired of these hyperbolic subtitles. The worst one, I think, was one about the Garfield assassination: The Destiny of the Republic. Really? Really? Can't they just admit not every historical event is necessarily utterly transformative; maybe they can just be interesting? Isn't that enough?)
  • Alexander of Macedon by Harold Lamb. (Thought this was going to be pulpy historical fiction, which would be fun, but actually it's a biography. Oh, groan. Looks utter crap.)
  • The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah. (Ghanaian novel.)
  • Thaddeus Stevens: Scourge of the South by Fawn M. Brodie.
  • Another Life: A Memoir of Other People by Michael Korda. (Memoir by the famous publisher. Inexplicably, stuck inside there's a postcard with the famous pic of Oscar Wilde in velvet breeches. Weird!)
  • Among The Believers by V.S. Naipaul. (Islamophobia avant la lettre.)
  • The Decline of Imperial Russia 1855-1914 by Hugh Seton-Watson.
  • The Works of Haggard by H. Rider Haggard. (King Solomon's Mines, SheAllan Quaterman, and Cleopatra in one omnibus volume.)
  • Drums Along The Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Salmon Poached In Salsa Verde

Salmon Poached In Salsa Verde


7 tomatillos, husked, washed & quartered
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green onions (white & light green parts)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeno, deseeded & deribbed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
1 & 1/2 lb salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces


Put the tomatillos, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, chili and garlic into a food processor; pulse until it's only slightly chunky.

Heat the oil up in a lidded skillet over medium heat. Add the red onions & cook uncovered until softened (about five minutes).

Add the salsa mixture and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Taste & season.

Add the salmon fillets skin side up and cook for five minutes covered. Uncover, flip the salmon, recover and cook for another five minutes. Kill the heat and let the salmon stand, covered, cooking with the residual heat for an additional three minutes. Uncover and plate the salmon, topping with the salsa verde. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thai-Style Cucumber Salad


2 Cucumbers
1 minced jalapeno pepper
1/2 minced shallot
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh)
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1/4 cup crushed cocktail peanuts


Peel the cucumbers, then slice them lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds from the center of each cuke, using a teaspoon. Thinly slice them.
Combine the pepper, shallots, soy sauce, lime juice and cilantro in a large container & mix. Add the cukes and toss gently. Finally, top with the cilantro and the peanuts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Starting Again

I had another blog here and also a livejournal, but haven't posted much to either in years. I thought with a fresh start I'd see if I could manage at least a few posts a year.  No promises, though.