Greetings and welcome to the First Polar Vortex Edition of You Are What You Read. I am sure there will be many more Polar Vortex opportunities going forward but this is the first. You can get excited about that or not People. It’s up to you.
The Winter Solstice is going down on Wednesday. “What does this mean for me?” you ask. Well People, it means that Wednesday will be the shortest day of the year. At least in terms of sunlight, the day itself will still be 24 hours. It’s also the first day of winter. So gird the loins. Before you know it, we will be wagering on the first day of the Bare Leg. I promise.
In this week’s housekeeping we send a lovely thank you to Betsy H for the offering of the chocolates! Thanks for thinking of us! Remember People, offerings keep the You Are What You Read Goddesses happy and not hangry.
Sweden. Yes, we’re still talking about Sweden this week. This is the land that has graced us with Ikea, Pippi Longstocking, Ace of Base, the Gävlebocken, Bjorn Borg and Greta Garbo but this week there is something new going on. In the Swedish city of Malmö, it would behoove you to watch where you walk and not for the usual reason of irresponsible pet ownership. Nay People, there is a movement afoot in that good city and it is frankly charming rather than alarming.
The artist group Anonymouse has been creating little store fronts for mice using found objects. These tiny works of art reimagine trash in new ways. Bottle Caps, buttons, and matches are all fair game for the creation of this tiny mouse universe. The idea is that it is all constructed with items that the mice themselves would have used to create their own civilization.
There are shops for every Mouse need. A café, a nut shop, one shop even has a mouse sized bike waiting for its owner to come back to clamber on and ride off. And yes, yes, of course there is a Cheese Shop. The Swedes are highly intelligent and they are on it! People of the city are beginning to contribute to this fun cause. Buns have been baked for the bakery and movie posters for the Tiny Ones have been appearing near the installations. Happily these tiny works of art are not being molested and are allowed to continue to give joy to those who happen upon them. Unlike the Gävlebocken, which, if you remember last week, didn’t even live a day.
Isn’t it nice to know that in these times that we are all just trying to put one foot in front of the other that there is such delightful whimsy in our midst? You can read about it on Huff-Po and I highly recommend that you follow them on Instagram so you can see the latest installation.
This week we have a missing baby, bad policy and some gingerbread. Yum! Who doesn’t love some gingerbread?
Sweet Ann has just finished The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. “Six- month-old Cora is missing from her crib after being left alone when their babysitter cancels at the last minute. Anne, the mom, is ready to forgo the dinner party invitation and stay home with Cora. Marco, her husband and father of Cora, convinces Anne that the baby will be fine; they will check on her every half hour and they will take the baby monitor with them. Anne and Marco live a comfortable life after receiving financial help from Anne's wealthy parents. Marco and his father-in-law have a strained relationship that Anne questions especially when her father has been so generous to Marco. This situation will become more tenuous as the police search for the missing baby. Marco also has secrets that will impact the police investigation and lead Anne to question what she really knows about her husband. This is a quick thrill ride of a book.”
The Always Delightful Pat S is watching and reading this week with Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich. “Unusually for me, I am reading this book AFTER viewing the series by same title currently on Amazon Prime. Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich tells the fascinating story of the day in March, 1970 when 46 female employees of Newsweek magazine sued the magazine for discrimination in hiring and promotion practices. It (quite intentionally) coincided with the same day the magazine published an edition with Women in Revolt as their cover story! Povich does a very credible job introducing the women behind the lawsuit; all well-educated, with one and sometimes more degrees from top-tier schools, who found themselves hired as researchers right out of school. This group included illustrious women such as Nora Ephron, Susan Brownmiller, Jane Bryant Quinn, and Ellen Goodman. Yet, while their male counterparts soon began writing, and being promoted, the women remained in the ‘pit ‘regardless of their talent. When asked about the hiring policy, the legendary editor Osborn Elliott responded that it was the long-held tradition at the magazine and he was not moved to change it. The story is riveting as Povich outlines what led up to the suit, and its’ courtroom success, as well as the backlash over the outcome. Don’t miss this one, either the book or the series for an intriguing look at our recent political gender history.”
Diane is reading pretty as she does. “The Magic of Gingerbread by Catherine Beddall has gingerbread creations which can be baked all year round, something I never even thought of.
This book has 16 different projects for throughout the year. She has included very clear step by step visual and written instructions for each project and the color photos just reinforce how easy these projects are. I loved the various takes on using gingerbread and the contemporary feel each design has. The book cover is a birdhouse made out of gingerbread and decorated with spring colors, and it makes me smile thinking that spring will come.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from Meat Chicken with the final musings and of course The Playlist. What’s good Pats? “Maybe it’s the Polar Vortex we’ve been experiencing here that has me deep into all things Swedish. I’ve been craving things like Glögg, and Gravlox and creating excuses to trek over to IKEA where Swedish Meatballs await. Swedish wool sweaters? I’m draped in them. Volvo? Got one, and boy do they handle the mountain of snow and ice we have!Ice fishing? Well, I contemplated it. Swedish design? I’m a huge fan.
It should come as no surprise then that I’ve been listening to a lot of Swedish music. As always, my obsession is your boon. For this week, I’ve curated a little Swedish playlist for your enjoyment. There are some real gems in this one. So stay warm, enjoy a little Glögg and let your inner Swede rock out.”