Friday, May 20, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #16: Summer

I'm a pretty constant reader. There's always one book or another splayed on my bedside table, but, more often than not, during busy school or other mentally-taxing times, that book will be pretty soft-serve and simple (hence my recent consumption of The Ivy Chronicles - hey! I found it at Goodwill!).

So my beachy, summertime reads are usually the deeper tomes, that would seem to make more sense during dark winter nights. My last beach time with a friend in Florida found me deeply engaged in
Atonement, if that gives you a sense of what I mean here.

So for my upcoming beach time, I've got the following list going (always in progress and subject to change, especially since I find the book stalls in airports tremendously appealing for some random reason):

A Seahorse Year ~ Stacey D'Erasmo (set in San Francisco and I enjoyed her book Tea)

The Child in Time ~ Ian McEwan (he worked last time)

Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times ~ ed. by Kevin Smokler ( a buddy of mine & I've already cackled out loud at one piece)

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey ~ Holley Bishop (well, I love honey, but I must confess I was totally seduced by the cover)

Crossing California ~ Adam Langer (looks like a good, solid novel & I'm going to Chicago--where the book is set--for the first time later in June)

And I also sit, toe-tapping and anxious, waiting for some of my favorite authors (Charles Baxter, A.M. Homes) to write a little faster and give me more gems to read.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #15: Bite

The new online food mag Saucy, from Bookslut's Jessa Crispin, features some lovely and totally right-on features, including this touching article from Colleen Mondor, the mother of a recently diagnosed diabetic, whose foodie sensibilities must now mold themselves to serve more important criteria. Saucy also compiles an eminently browseable collection of food links and recent articles.

I thought the Accidental Scientist's
Science of Cooking site from San Francisco's Exploratorium would be totally kid-oriented, but it has some really funky info, including how to make rock candy (cool!), a brief history of ketchup, and a wonderfully geeky food discussion board with topics like "Failed marmalade - Can it be salvaged??"

As a food lover who needs to do a little research before settling on the best birthday-splurge restaurants, I usually end up at
Chowhound, which has recently published food guides to the SF Bay Area and the NY area. Talk about passionate. These discussion boards can get a bit feisty as debates rage on about whether Limon is all it's cracked up to be, or if San Francisco has any good pizza AT ALL, but this is a great site for figuring out what the best picks are on unfamiliar menus.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #14: Contact

I want to share my stash of free e-card links. At some point a few years back, all the sites I used starting charging for all but the ugliest Garfield and bad flash animation cards. So, here are three that I use and I'd love to hear about more from you:

Chronicle Books makes almost all of their high-design images available to send as e-cards. Smart marketing and publicity folks! Bust Magazine also has kitsch fun postcards and SFGate has a stylish variety with Bay Area flavor.

And you can't send them, but the
Tacky Postcard Archive is very good browsing and some sneaky commentary. Nancy Reagan on Mr. T's lap? Who knew.

If you enjoy vintage postcards, particularly those thick card-stock, tacky ones you often find in little piles at yard sales, check out the tour of the USA in vintage postcards and the Vintage Vegas Postcard Museum (the site also has some cool vintage matchbooks).