The Nervous Breakdown Book Club's official selection for December is The Book of Men (an anthology of stories, all with the title, “How to Be a Man”), curated by Colum McCann and the editors of Esquire and Narrative 4.
To celebrate, Picador Book Club's giving away five copies! Enter here for a chance to win.
"This year I spent some quality reading time with three sad men." —Alice McDermott on what she read this year.
One of those sad men is our very own Per Petterson! In Out Stealing Horses, “there’s as much cold, and dark introspection, and wood chopping as one might expect,” says McDermott. “But there is also tenderness and grief, and the land is beautiful.”
(via: The Millions)
“A mystical experience would be wasted on me. Ordinary things have always seemed numinous to me. One Calvinist notion deeply implanted in me is that there are two sides to your encounter with the world. You don’t simply perceive something that is statically present, but in fact there is a visionary quality to all experience. It means something because it is addressed to you. This is the individualism that you find in Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. You can draw from perception the same way a mystic would draw from a vision.” —Marilynne Robinson, born on this day in 1943
Happy birthday, Marilynne Robinson!
Jonathan Franzen’s Pasta with Kale from The New Great American Writer’s Cookbook:
After noticing Franzen’s contribution to Dean Faulkner Wells’s cookbook, I couldn’t help wishing he had shared a recipe from one of his books — especially considering Denise Lambert’s culinary expertise in The Corrections. Regardless, this simple garlic and kale pasta recipe is not only easy to learn but surprisingly delicious:
1 lb. fresh kale
1 lb. good dry pasta, ideally Del Verde brand
1 kettle of water with lots of salt
3 medium-size garlic cloves
1/2 cup (or less) extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil water in a kettle. Peel the garlic and chop it up. Wash the kale, tearing it into pieces roughly the size of playing cards (throw away the lower, woodier two-thirds of the stems), and pile it into a pot. Add a little water, if necessary, to make maybe a quarter-inch on the bottom of the pot. Cover with a lid. Sauté the garlic (and some salt) in the olive oil until the garlic just barely begins to brown; remove from heat. Add pasta to the boiling water and stir it a little. Turn on high heat under the kale and steam/boil it, tossing it once or twice, until it’s full wilted; pour off any excess liquid. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and toss it with the kale, garlic, and oil. Some pepper may be ground over it. Grated cheese, however, is a desecration.
If you think Franzen’s recipe sounds delicious, The Airship has eleven more Thanksgiving recipes from your favorite authors.
It’s that gift-giving time of the year again, but never fear, Picador’s got you covered. With our helpful holiday gift guide, you’re sure to find something for everyone in your life!
For the insatiable Dickens fan: Havisham, by Ronald Frame.
For the Downton Abbey addict in need of some background: A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps, by Chris West.
For anyone who’s dealt with nosy neighbors: The Affairs of Others, by Amy Grace Loyd.
For the New Englander at heart (native or otherwise): The Good House, by Ann Leary.
For remarkable fiction from remarkable men (and women): The Book of Men, curated by Colum McCann.
For the design-conscious reader: The Twenty-Seventh City, by Jonathan Franzen.
For the high-tech bibliophile: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan.
THE PICADOR BOOK ROOM is a group publishing blog maintained by the employees of Picador Books. Any views expressed in these posts are those of the authors listed below.