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It's the Saint Patrick's Day Edition

Greetings and welcome to the Saint Patrick’s Day Edition of You are What You Read.

All I am going to say about the rodents is that Phil is winning. Lemon Pig has deserted us in our time of need. I’m over all of it. I surrender. We live on the Tundra and that is that. Abandon all hope People.

As we know, life on the Tundra is hard and sometimes it’s nice to have a little holiday to break up the unrelenting monotony of preparing for the next storm by laying in bread, eggs and T.P.

St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and it is our next helliday that will make us forget, for just a few hours, that we are staring down the barrel of yet another Nor’easter and that this is starting to feel weirdly normal.

This is a pretty easy holiday to love. There’s a parade! With lots of bagpipes (if that’s your jam)! People wear really bright green which seems even brighter when showcased against the background of our permafrost landscape! Men in skirts with knives in their socks (ooh! Danger!)!

The food prep for this one couldn’t be easier. Just buy that Corned Beef and throw it and the seasoning mix in a pot o’ water and let it simmer all day long. Carrots and potatoes are optional. We won’t judge if you buy your soda bread (yes we will. I’m trying to be nice).

But then there’s the dark side of St. Patrick’s Day.

A lot of folks use it as an excuse to day drink.

Shocking I know.

Which is fine. No judging on my part (for real this time). I love a little something-something as a special treat say on vacation or a weekend.

But some bartender in Pennsylvania has gone one step too far and created a special cocktail for St. Patrick’s Day that should be driven out of existence like St. Patrick did with the snakes of Ireland.

I speak of The Corned Beef Collins that is being offered at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh. Mixologist Alex Dando has found a way for you to sip the traditional holiday meal instead of wielding a fork and knife like a normal human would.

Inspired by the classic corned beef sandwich, he begins with a blended Irish whisky that has been infused with house-made corned beef. As if that were not awful enough, he then adds a syrupy reduction of brown butter, cabbage and apple. How can this be more disgusting? Good ask. He adds apple schnapps and soda to the glass. This abomination is finished with a mini Rueben sandwich perched on the side of the glass like a parrot on a pirate’s shoulder.

You get to pay $13 for this. Lucky you!

Dando understands that this not the way people who can appreciate fine whiskeys would prefer to enjoy them. He then insults mothers everywhere by saying in an interview with Gretchen McKay of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that “It’s made with a mom in mind.”

Dude! Newsflash! Maybe some of us just don’t feel like a whiskey. Even if you tart it up with sugary sweetness, we may just pass. Please don’t use us as your alibi for crimes against cocktail hours everywhere.

Anyway if you want the full 411 on this here’s the article. If you should try this and live please let us know. Thanks to Karyn A. for finding this (I think) and bringing it to my attention.

This week we have royalty, some shabby, drinking, illicit love, an ego, and an old friend.

Let us begin!

Miss Elisabeth of the CL is reading while she is still able. And of course she’s reading Royal! “A Princess in Theory is the first book in Alyssa Cole’s new romance series, Reluctant Royals. With anticipation of Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding building, there’s no better time to indulge in this delightful fairy tale. Orphaned as a toddler, Naledi Smith grew up in NYC foster care system, and she’s worked hard to make something of herself in the years since. Working two jobs and putting herself through grad school to become an epidemiologist, Ledi rolls her eyes and hits ‘delete’ when she starts receiving emails that feel like a variation on the traditional African prince money laundering scam. But unbeknownst to her, she’s actually been betrothed since infancy to the Crown Prince of Thesolo, who is on his way to New York to track her down. When Prince Thabiso finds her, will this former foster kid finally find her forever home? Answer: of course, because this is a romance novel! But along the way, there are mistaken identities, rodent adventures, and trips to far-off climes. The writing is quick and downright funny, and I laughed out loud several times. If you’re looking for a treat, A Princess in Theory is a winner.“

Diane is reading more pretty this week. “Rachel Ashwell, the designer and author that started the Shabby Chic decorating movement, has a new book, My Floral Affair: Whimsical Spaces and Beautiful Finishes. This new book has the trademark roses and shabby chic vibe where flowers set the tone. The images captured by photographer Amy Neusinger definitely get my imagination spinning to try some new approaches with my floral arrangements. Photographs from Rachel's California rose garden, the English country side, Norway, and Paris apartment have created a very romantic feel throughout this book.”

Sweet Ann has finished The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian. “Cassandra Bowen is a flight attendant who, due to her seniority, gets to fly to many exotic places and work in First Class. She is flirty with the passengers and likes to have a good time. She is also an alcoholic which makes her susceptible to risky behavior. On a flight to Dubai, she meets a man in first class who she will join later that evening. The young man is murdered in the bed next to her while she sleeps soundly after a night of sex and heavy drinking. It is in the way she handles the murder in the morning that will become the gist of the story. It is a page turner, a bit repetitive in parts, but I wanted to know where the story would lead. I will admit I did not see the twist at the end of the novel. This is a fun thriller with Russian spies and the FBI trying to discover her role in the murder. (As an aside about this novel and a few that have been published recently, why oh why are women characters drinking so much and losing their hold on reality? I do find it a bit curious.)”

Jeanne is back to doing two things at once. “I delved into e-Books on hoopla this week. Bingo Love, with words by Tee Franklin and art by Jenn St-Onge and Joy San, is a graphic novel for adults telling a sweet, emotionally diverse story about a forbidden love that begins when Mari transfers to Hazel’s high school. They first spot each other and meet while accompanying their mom and grandma, respectively, to the Bingo hall. It is love at first sight. But it is not meant to be. Or is it? Their families are outraged. Mari is forced to move away and they both go on to pursue careers and raise families. I loved the artwork and the story line of a love worth fighting for. In The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman, Bear Bavinsky is a world-renowned American artist in the early twentieth century. A gargantuan egoist, and very private about his works in progress, the artist is hugely social and has countless marriages and divorces! Can he be a painter and a good father? This quote on his death, by Birdie, one of his seventeen children, ‘Oh, Daddy! The art was so much better than the man,’ says it all. Bear lives a long life of acclaim, but questionable legacy. Bear’s favorite son is Charles or Pinch, affectionately, and the only one Bear pays any attention to at all. Pinch lives in the shadow of his great father, yet idolizes him. It turns out this is what his father is counting on. Is Pinch honoring his father, saving his own skin, or trying to make a name for himself? Whether in Italy, France, England or the U.S., the Italian teacher wants to be noticed. Loved it!”

Virginia the Tall Cool Texan has finished one of our most popular titles Still Me and here’s what she thought. “I just finished listening to JoJo Moyes’ book, Still Me, and just like meeting up with an old friend for coffee, it was really great to catch up on Louisa Clarke’s life. The story picks up with Louisa starting a new job in New York as a personal assistant to an ultra-wealthy society woman. Just as in the previous two books, Louisa has a knack for taking care of others but in Still Me she finally figures out what she wants from life and how to fulfill the promise she made all those years ago to Will Traynor. Fans of Me Before You will enjoy hearing from Louisa in this charming and entertaining book.”

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