December Whatnot

Here’s something of a shocker. I am running a 5k during the first week of December! Actually, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise because I mentioned signing up for it in the last post…just yesterday. But. But! But, enough about the first week of December. Let’s talk about the last week of December! I am looking forward to a week off from work with nothing to do except read, read, read. Another opportunity to gorge on books is a six hour car ride when I won’t be driving. A perfect opportunity to finished a shorter book! And speaking of books, Here is the list:


  • God Lives in St. Petersburg and Other Stories by Tom Bissell ~ in honor of a day in December as being one of the coldest days in Russian history.
  • Fay by  Larry Brown ~ in honor of December being Southern Literature Month.
  • Fearless Treasure by Noel Streatfeild in honor of Streatfeild’s birth month. Actually, no library would lend Fearless Treasure without charging an ILL fee so I am reading Ballet Shoes instead. Good thing I wasn’t looking forward to reading fantasy!
  • Wanting by Richard Flanagan ~ in honor of Tasmania’s taste fest which happens in December. To be honest, I don’t know how I made this connection.
  • The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis ~ in honor of Willis being born in December. Confessional: this is a huge book so I started it a little early (AB & print).
  • The Beach by Alex Garland in honor of Thailand’s Constitution Day observance in December.


  • Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman ~ in honor of Mark Salzman’s birth month being in December.
  • Nero Wolf at West Thirty Fourth Street: the life and times of America’s Largest Private Detective by William S. Baring-Gold ~ in honor of Rex Stout’s birth month.

Series continuations:

  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Buddha by Dorothy Gilman ~ to continue the series started in September in honor of Grandparents’ month.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • I was supposed to receive Jam Today by Tod Davies last month but hasn’t arrived yet. Maybe I’ll get it this month.
  • I am also suppose to receive Pep Talk for Writers by Grant Faulkner by Dec 29th, 2017. We’ll see about that!

For fun:

  • Hit Reset: Revolutionary Yoga for Athletes by Erin Taylor ~ because I’m still trying keep running.

If there is time:

  • Between the Assassinations by Avavind Adiga ~in honor of Vivah Panchami
  • Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich ~ in honor of Woolrich’s birth month

Nero Wolfe Cookbook

Stout, Rex. The Nero Wolfe Cookbook. New York: Viking Press, 1973.

This is one of those cookbooks I would call “unique” just because it isn’t just a bunch of recipes with a common theme. This cookbook is for the diehard Nero Wolfe fans who really want to submerge themselves in his world. It’s a great concept. I don’t know how many readers actually tried to cook these meals, but they are real, honest-to-goodness recipes, albeit with weird ingredients like kummel, kirschwasser, sauterne, and pig livers. There is a whole chapter on just corn (note to self: try the roasting of corn in their husks instead of the traditional steaming). Throughout the recipes are little snippets of Wolfe’s unique relationship with food. I found it interesting that he can’t stand to have hungry visitors, even if those same visitors are thought to be suspects. Of course, it isn’t Nero doing all the cooking. He has his trusted cook, Fritz Brenner for that.

Reason read: Rex Stout was born in December. This was a quick “read” for the end of the month.

Author fact: According to the author info in The Nero Wolfe Cookbook, Stout had a passion for hotdogs. Okay.

Book trivia: I will admit 100% that I have read this at the wrong time. Having only read one Nero Wolfe mystery thus far (Fer-de-Lance) these recipes meant nothing to me. What saved me from quitting saving this for later were the quotations from the books in reference to each recipe.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Rex Stout: Too Good To Miss” (p 226).