Stuff We Like :: 11.17.17

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, though we try to celebrate it as a pause of thankfulness and not as a piece of U.S. mythology. I can’t wait to spend a few days cooking together, eating lots of good food, and reading together every night.


Around the web

The life of a homework assignment

It can be complicated to love T.S. Eliot, so I really appreciated this essay about reconciling the impact of his poetry (which was truly life-altering for me) with its implicit racism and classism.

A really good read about understanding how information disorder — a.k.a. “alternative facts news” — actually works

True story! Why canceling plans is so satisfying

In case you’re planning to up your style game for Thanksgiving, I give you Get the Look: Baba Yaga


At home/school/life

On the blog: 12 great book series to read together

one year ago: Gift ideas for people who love The Hobbit (ooh, I might get that Gashlycrumb Hobbit shirt for someone this year!)

two years ago: How to make a simple Thanksgiving wreath

three years ago: How unschooling shaped my social life


Reading list:

Our book club pick for December is The Golden Compass, so I’m kind of thrilled to have an excuse to read it again. Philosophically, I am torn sometimes about rereads — there are so many books and so little time — but practically, I do a lot of rereading, and it usually makes me very happy.

I can never resist a good historical scandal, so I guess no one will be surprised that I picked up Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England. I always enjoy Alison Weir’s books in spite of — well, actually, maybe because of — her tendency to come up with the occasional wacky theory. (The best one here is that Edward II didn’t actually get murdered by Isabella but went off to become a hermit.) I would read books about British monarchs all day long, but this one really was fun.

I’m moving on to Sophocles with my humanities class after the break, so I’m reading Antigone again, too.


At home

I am at the point where I make the same things for Thanksgiving every year because everybody has a “favorite thing” that it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving dinner without. I am mixing things up with the turkey this year and making this gorgeous lacquered turkey from Bon Appetit. (My have-to-have for Thanksgiving is au gratin potatoes made with Boursin cheese — they are basically pure fat in a Le Creuset since you make them by melting a cake of cheese into heavy cream — but I love them as a once-a-year indulgence.)

The kids and I have been playing Super Mario Odyssey together lately — they love video games so much, and I try to make an effort to play a couple of games a year with them to stay connected to what they care about and they try to make an effort not to be annoyed because I’m always forgetting which button makes your Mario jump.