Well, starting with The Finished Book Pile as I sit here in a Panera in Louisville, we have Invisible Ink by Carl Veno. The jacket bills Veno's book as a bunch of short stories by a master storyteller. What it turns out to be is a memoir by a self-admitted "bronze-medal" kind of news reporter (compared to the "gold-medal" types he knew who really went somewhere in the business) who bounced around from one minor newspaper to another. The "short stories" are just chapters in his life which, if anybody takes on the task of writing their life history, is the only sane way to undertake it. Not far into the book, I started examining information about the publisher and--just as I suspected--self-published. But an OK little tour through Orlando, Yonkers, Newark and eventually Quakertown, PA, where he worked for newspapers that are mostly defunct now. Oh, ooops, shouldn't have given that away.
Next up, Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card.
I'm not usually a fan of fantasy writers, but this book appeared on a list of best all-time Mormon novels. And I can get Card's books in my local library.
It's been a long time since I enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed this one. Seventh Son went by way too fast. It's the first in a series of five books about Alvin Maker, a little boy in frontier America born with special powers. Mormon readers will take special delight at all the symbolism hidden in there just for us. I love all the subtleties between the characters, the way Card had them saying one thing while meaning another. I loved the interaction between the children in the family--fierce loyalty right next to murderous competition. And I got very caught up in the forces that both threaten and protect Alvin. Can't wait for the next four books.
As for kitchen stuff, we just tried Cilantro Chicken. Everybody around the table thought it tasted like enchiladas.
I made a little extra and sliced up the leftover breasts for sandwiches on one of those too crazy-to-cook nights.