It’s been pouring rain in California and that is both a very good thing and a bit of an issue. We need the water, preferably not all at once. It is perfect reading weather as long as you can be warm and dry and still have power. It’s also perfect writing weather and when I’m done with this, I have writing to do.
Previously, I have not had any affiliate links in the monthly roundup but I did set up an affiliate list with Bookshop.org. If you buy any of the titles I’ve added to my book list there you will be supporting Marcus Bookstore, a Black-owned bookstore in Oakland, California, and I also get a bit, which I will totally spend on more books. My affiliate store link is here. Not all of the books are available through Bookshop and I will continue to link directly to the author or wherever you can purchase those books. Onward:
Changing Paths by Yvonne Aburrow — this was my editing work on the book that will come out from 1000Volt Press at the end of February if everything goes to plan. I’m excited to get this book in the world as Yvonne has done an excellent job of walking the reader through the upheavals of leaving one faith and joining another. The book’s primary focus is for those leaving Christianity and finding their way to some form of paganism, witchcraft, or occult esoteric practice.
One Pan, Two Plates by Carla Snyder — the first of many meal plan, cooking for two, making your kitchen work for you books this month. I had planned to read much more in December for fun but just found myself bogged down in the holidays blues. However, I am still working on getting my kitchen witch cred back and the holidays are usually a good time to do that. One of the downsides of professional training is always thinking meals are a production — or at least that dinner is. I don’t have a hang up with breakfasts and lunches for some reason. Anyway this is great book for some easy two-person meals that don’t destroy your kitchen.
How to Keep House While Drowning by K.C. Davis (audio) — there is discussion in this book of the very basic of self-care when depression or illness have you all but bedridden and sometimes also mostly bedridden. I’m not there, but 2022 was a bad year for my anxiety. I did a lot of work and feel better but that specter is always visible just on the edge of my vision. It’s good to have coping mechanisms and also good to know that other people struggle with things.
The Taken by A.J. Scudiere — beta for a writer friend. I throughly enjoy the Black Carbon series although A.J. keeps making me afraid of things like the curtains being open, puddles, and now the desert at night. This book is out January 23 but follow the link for some early access info.
The Practical Witch’s 2023 Almanac by Friday Gladheart — this came in a Humble Bundle purchase and I finally got a chance to read through it. I have it as an ebook which I don’t think I can recommend as much. This is a book you want in your hands to use as a daily notebook and planner. Lots of useful information and well designed.
The Weekly Meal Plan Cookbook by Kylie Perroti — see One Plan, Two Plates above for the why. Not as helpful to me aside from how to think about using foods throughout the week. I make a plan but then get creative when the time comes to actually do the thing, so true meal planning doesn’t really work for me. Does it really work 100% for anyone? I have no idea but I want to continue to talk to those people who say that it does because I do think it can lower the stress around getting dinner on the table and I do think it saves food waste.
Fridge Love by Kristen Hong — see One Plan, Two Plates above for the why. Kristen is a nutritarian following a pretty strict diet plan but also recommends using some of the principle of nutritarianism without suggesting everyone get on that train, which I appreciate. I mostly wanted to read this because I dream of a perfectly curated fridge. It is a ridiculous dream only for the Instragam shoot but my fridge is now very clean and organized just with different stuff.
Salad of the Day by Georgeanne Brennan — see One Plan, Two Plates above for the why. I love salads. The ease and the flavor. When I was a kid a thought I hated salad dressing. Turns out I just didn’t like the ones that came out of a bottle and were thickened with guar gum. So one way to get a very curated fridge is to eat a lot of salads and bowls. Make a grain. Make some side veg stuff. Make a crunchy topping of nuts or seeds or bread. Have something warm (beans or meat or good here) and then have a dressing or sauce. So many options.
Cooking in Season by Brigit Binns — see One Plan, Two Plates above for the why. I skimmed through this one but there are some good recipes in here on my list to try out.
Miso Tempeh Nato and Other Tasty Ferments Kirsten K. and Christopher Shockey — will I make my own miso and tempeh? Unknown. Will I make my own natto? No. I really don’t like it. But I do like the idea of tempeh made with things other than soy.
Pandemic 1918 by Catharine Arnold — we are in year four of the covid pandemic. It seems like most people think it’s over but it really isn’t and having someone very close to me dealing with long covid reminds me daily that it isn’t a cold. Despite the awfulness of the 1918 pandemic which was far and away more deadly based on percentages of the population sickened and killed, I find the stories of people who made it through hopeful. There is an other side.
Super Natural Simple by Heidi Swanson — I would say see the same thing about the other cookbooks on the this list but I was a fan of Swanson’s blog before she published a cookbook and I still really enjoy her work. I always learn something and all her food is the kind of food I like to eat. This book is particularly gorgeous too (she also does all the photography).