– An occupational hazard of iPod-shuffled songs: apparently ” ‘Til Then” makes me cry now. (From the musical 1776, taken from the letters of John and Abigail Adams, a couple who knew something about job-related separations. )

– If you liked Flora Segunda and Flora’s Dare, you may like James Kennedy’s The Order of Odd-Fish. What the two have in common is scrappy young heroines, whimsy, and world-building of a place like nothing you’ve read before (the two worlds are sufficiently different from each other that it’s accurate to say that even after you’ve read one.)

– Wow, Lord Dunsany really sucks as an exercise audiobook – that’s not a criticism of quality, just of fitness for a peculiar purpose. I was about to say that Cat Valente’s work would be terrible for working out to for the same reason, until I remembered The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland which would actually work pretty well. I think what I need for distraction is compelling plot; in Dunsany’s Book of Wonder, for instance, the plot of the first story is “centaur kidnaps bride”; all the rest is just scene-setting. I suppose.

– Speaking of books I’ve recently listened to while working out, Little Lord Fauntleroy is much better than it gets credit for being. In contrast to The Secret Garden, The Lost Prince or even A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy is actually a funny book, and I’m pretty sure all the humor is intentional. And yeah, he’s described as a beautiful child in red trousers (or velvet suits for dress-up) with long hair, but he’s a little boy – seven at the oldest in the story. I think Burnett gets a bad rap because she was so cordially hated by all the twelve-year-old boys forced into Fauntleroy suits by doting mothers.

– Even though I didn’t read anything mentioned here on it, the Kindle is still the Best Thing Ever for an immigrant whose books are mostly either in storage or in transit. Other than e-books, I now have about two linear feet of books here, and several of those are things like an English-Dutch dictionary or guidebooks to Amsterdam and Brussels rather than, y’know, reading books.

– And outside the literary world, cooking beef in a Dutch oven for about 5 hours with about 1.5 cups of liquid (1/2 c. water and 1/2 c. of wine to start, more water added for the last 2 hours when I added potatoes and carrots) didn’t quite work. The beef was fork-tender but dry; I think I need either fattier beef, more liquid, or a lower cooking temperature.