Monday, February 02, 2015

Jan 2015: Reading, Watching, Listening to...

This week marks the 10 year anniversary of One Hot Stove. A whole decade, you guys! I can't believe I'm still here. I certainly can't believe you're still here. I wouldn't be out here talking if you weren't here listening, so thank you, thank you for being part of my life.

Today, this blog is more important to me than ever, because I'm using it as my ally in establishing some crucial new habits. My personality tendency is that I'm an obliger, and the external accountability of posting my experiences on the blog is just the push I need to stay committed to my new Nupur 2.0 habits.

On to today's post...
I typically discover things 4.5 years after everyone else discovers them and so it is with podcasts. They are old news for everyone else but I only just got into listening to them. My friends Bala and Shankar (and their sweet puppy Kalki) drove through our town on their way to and from a beach vacation and it was a pleasure to spend two evenings with them. They're dog people through and through. Shankar taught Duncan to give a high five in a matter of minutes! And they taught me to like podcasts.

When V and Lila and I took a road trip to St. Louis over New Year's Eve, podcasts made the journey go by quickly. In town, I don't have much of a commute but I like listening to them while I'm cooking and doing chores around the house. The NPR podcasts are definitely my favorite ones- Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me and Ask Me Another. I found this list of food podcasts and enjoyed a couple, including America's Test Kitchen radio. I also listened to Serial, a 12-episode podcast about a real life murder mystery- a very puzzling and unfortunate story involving high school students.

Over on the Netflix side of things, I've been watching a few reality TV shows, Chopped, Restaurant Impossible, Flea Market Flip, Income Property. All total time-pass while knitting. 20 years after everyone else, I watched the British rom com Four Weddings and a Funeral. Underwhelmed. V and I like to watch Midsomer Murders together, and now the new Barnaby is on and I like him (and his wife) better than the old one! I stumbled on a vintage mystery series Columbo, named for the clever but bumbling detective who is the lead character. It is interesting to watch something from the 70s- the decor and the clothes. And the mysteries are a little different too- they start with the murder and show who the murderer is so there's no whodunit element, and the story is all about how the murderer is finally caught.

And some favorite books from recent weeks...

Roz Chast's graphic memoir, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? The back cover of the book says "it is a story of an only child watching her parents age well into their nineties and die". Sounds grim, doesn't it? It is much more than that, though. It is honest, relatable, funny and a case study of family dynamics and aging. Chast says of her parents, They were a tight little unit. Her mother's response- "Codependent"? "Of course, we're codependent. Thank God!!!"

Then, I read the latest installment of the Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe. It is a cozy and heart-warming novel as ever, my literary comfort food. This time, Mma Ramotswe investigates the baffling case of an Indian lady who can't remember who she is or where she came from. Mma Makutsi gets into the restaurant business. Mr. Maketoni has staff troubles, but all is well in the end.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Written in 1967, this is an adorable story about a 12 year old girl and her 9 year old brother who run away from their home in the suburbs and hide out in the Metropolitan museum in New York City.

I started reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple but couldn't get past the first dozen pages. Right now, I'm finding it it too irritating to read about whiny, over-privileged people, even if the novel is written in a witty tone.

There were two good non-fiction reads last month, both narratives that piece together history and modern events. The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson is a fascinating account of Victorian London and the beginnings of modern public health. Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff is a gripping account of plane crashes and human endurance in the 1940s. I don't typically read books about military planes and such, but this was interesting for many different reasons.

What are you reading, watching and listening to these days?

55 comments:

  1. Heartiest Congratulations Nupur on completing 10 years of OneHotStove. I have been a regular reader since 2007 but started commenting much later. I still wait for every new post eagerly and look forward to the next. I visit many blogs but this is hands-down my most favorite blog ever! I hope you never stop blogging and I would be reading and commenting here even when I grow really really old. :-) Hugs!

    - Priti

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    1. Thank you my dear, and let me say that your comments always make my day!

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  2. Hi Nupur,

    Congratulations on your 10th blog anniversary. I have probably been reading your blog for that long as well. You are my most favorite blogger. that I look forward to reading. I love your positive and down to earth style of writing.

    I love your recipes as they are simple and earthy. I don't knit, but enjoy reading your craft posts. I enjoy reading about Lila and Duncan. I love your book reviews. I think I read the "No.1 Ladies Detective Agency" based on your review. Alexander McCall Smith is my favorite author at this stage of my life and I have read several of his books more than once over the years. His heart warming stories are somewhat spiritual to me.

    And now your healthy eating series is something I look forward to reading. I am slowly making changes at my home too. I fell off the band wagon about three years ago and your series is the gentle motivator for me to get back to healthy eating.

    Thank you for all the hard work you put into your blog. It is much appreciated!

    If you plan on visiting California, you have friend here who would love to host you.

    Best,
    SN

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    1. SN- Thank you for those kind words! I get so much more from the blog than I put in. And you're very sweet to invite me over to CA. I've never been to that state so I may just show up ;)

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  3. Congrats on 10 years! Big milestone, for sure! I have been a regular since so many years and have gained so much from this blog..both in terms of recipes and other things like books and time management stuff. I love that your style of cooking is very similar to how my mom cooks (non fussy, yet simple and yummy) and hence I have found so many good recipes that are a constant in our kitchen (my fave being misal and the bharli vangi recipe). I hope you continue blogging and I hope to get to connect with you more!
    We have been watching the Poirot murder series on netflix on most weekday nights. Also, cannot wait for the house of cards season 3 (coming this month...woohoo)!!
    On the books front, I am reading "how to talk so that kids and and listen so that kids talk". Having a 15 month old, I am hoping this book will be helpful in the coming years! On the listening front, I have downloaded peppy and fast english numbers on my ipod for running. Running is so much more easy when you have good music playing. My current favorite is "till love runs out" by one republic.
    Have a good week!

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    1. Thank you for the sweet wishes, dear Neha! I've been watching Poirot off and on too. Last night I started watching Poirot (Sad Cypress) but fell asleep on the couch. House of Cards might be my next series- hmm.

      Oh, I love love love How to Talk....I need to re-read that one.

      Agree with the music- I love blasting hip hop when I exercise. Love Runs Out is fun- just watched it on YouTube :)

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  4. Wow, congratulations on ten years. Mine is coming up soon!

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    1. I know- we're like blog twins :) You have reached SUCH heights with your blogging, Kalyn!!

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  5. Congratulation of a decade of blogging Nupur!
    I started following your blog around 5 years back - I think the pav baaji recipe was the first one I tried :-) . Have tried numerous ones after that - some exactly and some with some tweaks.
    Thank you for persisting and keeping the blog going! Looking forward to many more years of blogging :-)
    Best,
    Sapna

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    1. Thanks Sapna! I'm so glad you try some of the recipe I post here.

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  6. Happy decad-ent blog anniversary Nupur !

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  7. Congratulations on completing ten years writing an inspirational and fun to read blog Nupur!
    I am reading Saul Bellow's Henderson The Rain King
    Watching George Gently
    Listening to Miles Davis

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    1. Thank you Poornima! I love George Gently too. The British, they know how to make murder mysteries.

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  8. Ten years! Gosh and I have been reading you for nine of those :). Learned to enjoy my food making expeditions some more. Your blog taught be to be a wee bit methodical which I am inherently not :) Hats off to your persistence.

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    1. AA_Mom- Thanks for hanging in with me all these years!

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  9. Big congratulations on your ten yr anniversary Nupur.
    I'm glad you enjoy podcasts Nupur- there are so many good ones out there. I love the BBC desert island disc series and used to listen to the savvy girls podcast.
    I read 5 books in January- memorable among them were Roald Dahl's esio trot, Paris letters by Janice Macleod and the Pursuit of love by Nancy Mitford.
    Paris letters was a breezy read with some lovely snapshots of Paris , also tells the story of a person's determination to create a more livable life.
    Mitford was a lovely read- books I think about when I've stopped reading them are always my favourite. Mitford has a sharp, cruel wit.
    I'm doing a 100 book challenge with my 3 yo. We are planning to read through Time magazines top 100 books for children. Having fun thus far.
    Watched paddington in the cinema and Broadchurch at home. Loved both of them.
    Hope you have a lovely February.
    Best Arpita.

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    1. Hi Arpita- Thank you for your thoughtful comments, I always look forward to them. I'll have to look for those podcasts- both sound interesting! The 100 book challenge is so much fun. What a great way to look for new books together. Broadchurch is on my list! Hope you have a "love"ly Feb too :D

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    2. Thanks Nupur. I always love joining in especially when everyone talks books. I forgot to mention there is a podcast episode of Desert Island- with Alexander McCall Smith. He comes across as SUCH a wonderful person in the podcast- much like his books.
      Will try to make feb 'love'ly :)
      Arpita.

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  10. Happy 10th Blog anniversary Nupur. I have been reading your blog for more than 8 years now. But commented only twice in all these years. I really enjoy your blog and reading your blog is like talking to a very good friend of mine - for me. I hope you will continue to talk to me for a very long time through your blog.

    We got our very first dog last Christmas - as my boys wanted it from "Santa" :-) Duncan learning to do a high five put a smile on my face as I can relate to your dog tales more personally now. My boys are trying to do the same with our dog - Dharma :-)

    Happy Blog anniversary again. Wishing you the very best for Lila, you, V and Duncan.

    - Viji S

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    1. Viji- Thank you for this sweet note. I too hope that I'll be around chatting on this blog for a long time, it brings me much joy. Congrats on your new dog and I hope you're enjoying being a dog mommy :) Aren't they a lot of fun and a lot of work, just like human kids? Love to Dharma and wish you the best!

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  11. Dear Nupur, Congratulations on your first decade of the blog! That's awesome. :-) Good for you - and us.... Here's to several more...:-)

    Oh, I will have to check out the new Barnaby- I binged on the old shows a couple of years ago...

    Have been occupied with several projects...hope to be able to catch up on reading and check out some of your recommendations.

    Love and hugs, R

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    1. Thanks R :) Barnaby is a good one for lazing around in the evenings when the brain is too fried for anything else! I often fall asleep watching them :) still fun. Sending you hugs!

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  12. Wow, Nupur! Blogging is a big commitment and you've persisted for 10 years. Congratulations, and wish you many more years of blogging (and I write that with a little bit of selfishness because I want to keep reading your posts for many years to come).

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    1. Thanks Snehal! It is not a big commitment, just a little one- 1 post a week. Thanks for being a regular reader!

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  13. Congratulations Nupur! I think I have been reading your blog since your pav bhaji post in 2005! Thanks again for having us over the break. Love to all.

    Cheers!
    Bala

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    1. Bala- Seeing you guys was a highlight of our holiday break. Come visit again soon!

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  14. Congratulations Nupur! Your blog was one of the first food blogs I followed when I started to cook. Thank you for your wonderful recipes and writing.

    I listened to Serial in December too. I was very sad after the whole thing. Towards the end it had become more than just investigative journalism - making entertainment out of a young girl's murder.

    I'm a fellow obliger too! For years I've felt guilty about my ways .. Now I just try to learn my patterns and get creative about life hacking.

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    1. Thanks Nishnu! It is good to know that we are obligers, then we can arrange things so we are "obliged" to make the choices we want to make :)

      Serial was....I still don't know what I think of it. I did not think it was entertainment out of a murder, but it did leave me deeply disturbed about how the truth can be so elusive. And no real justice for this young girl when you think about it.

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  15. Many many congratulations, Nupur and OHS!
    Wishing you many more blog anniversaries!

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    1. Thanks Manasi! Hope all is well with you!

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  16. Congratulations, Nupur. You've certainly built an eager audience in this time.

    I loved Roz Chast's book. I think it was my best read of last year. I am a big fan of NPR's Fresh Air, and I think one of Terry Gross' best interview was the collection of interviews with Maurice Sendak that was posted right after he died. I don't always 'get' Sendak, but my son loved his books.The interview(s) were very moving. I have also heard good things about New Yorker's lit podcast and Slate's cultural gabfest. The ATK podcast sounds interesting. My problem is I don't have the time to listen to podcasts and using earphones always gives me a headache.

    I am currently planning to read 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'

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    1. Radhika- you wrote such a beautiful review of Chast's book. It really was a terrific read. I've been a long time fan of her cartoons in the New Yorker. I had no idea they had podcasts (well everyone does so why wouldn't they...), I will look for it.

      I've been listening to podcasts while cooking and washing dishes and folding laundry. I don't use headphones either (can never find ones that fit me); I just play them aloud on my laptop.

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  17. Congratulations Nupur on your awesome 10th Anniversary! Like most people here, I love reading your blogs. I'm not a great writer, but I only started blogging recently, as I am passionate about Art, and want to try my hand a few new things.
    Enjoyed the Four Tendencies Quiz, thanks for sharing it.

    Right now, I am trying to find a book on "how to manage 2 kids, a full time job, a dog, and a husband who is passionate about cricket" :D

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    1. Thanks! Congrats on your blog- I am going to check it out. Not many bloggers are great writers (heck, not many writers are great writers) but we just keep blogging in our own unique voices. Good luck to you!

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  18. Columbo!! Love watching it with my parents. They were here in the 70's and loved it so much they couldn't wait to introduce it to us kids.

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    1. It is such a blast for the past, even for me, watching it for the first time!

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  19. Congratulations! Ten years is a solid achievement... :) Says a lot about your love for food, community, cooking and sharing.

    Watched an interesting Hindi film "Aankhon Dekhi" on Netflix streaming. It is the story of a middle-aged man in small town North India who resolves to not believe anything he cannot see/touch/taste/feel/hear. This resolution takes his life in an interesting direction. Nice performances, good script.

    Reading "Vegetarian Table: North Africa" by Kitty Morse. See if you can get hold of it. It is a lovely book with great recipes, pictures and vivid descriptions of food, cooking traditions, etc. in North Africa.

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    1. Thanks Lakshmi! Oh that movie sounds interesting- I'll look for it. Been ages since I saw a Hindi movie. I think the last was an old favorite "Mr. India" when some channel showed it while I was in India.

      I'll look for the North African cookbook. Love the flavors from that part of the world.

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  20. Congrats, Nupur! Your blog is the one that always rings true with sincerity, humour and - for want of a better word - normalness :) Keep up the fantastic work!

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    1. Thanks Shammi! You were blogging right along side me, from the start! :) Hope all is well with you- I've missed your posts.

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  21. Congrats. you have been consistent in your writing :-) thanks for keeping it real.
    I started reading your blog somtime in 2006-07 after reading about pateta-par-eeda in Sidin vadkut's blog whatay.com . I would thanks him as well :-)

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    1. Thanks very much for the wishes, and for reading me for all these long years!

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  22. Congratulations! I started following your blog initially for recipes, now I come here for book recommendations too. I started reading way back in 2006.
    I have been trying to finish reading "The new Persian kitchen" from library along with watching 2 Koreans TV shows. "Fixing jeans knee hole" project and curious 15 month thrown in the mix everything is half way done.
    On a side note, podcasts help my husband stay awake on long drives and knocks me out (I never sleep!).

    Suganya

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    1. Suganya- Thanks for following this blog for so many years! I've heard about Korean shows- they seem to have a cult following- but haven't watched one yet. LOL on the podcasts. As long as the driver is awake, I'd say things are good :)

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  23. Congratulations on completing a decade of One-Hot-Stove! Here's to many more... Cheers!

    Hugs,
    Shoots :)

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  24. Nupur - belated congrats on 10 years of blogging! I still remember how casually you mentioned your blog- no big deal- and then I was blown away by your beautiful photos, enchanting writing, and of course mouth-watering recipes. Here's to many more years of One Hot Stove, and the many hot stoves you've inspired!

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    1. Dear Bek- Thank you!! I remember our conversation way back when in the campus kitchen :) Good times, good times. I'm so glad we've stayed friends over the years.

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  25. Hi Congrats like reading your blog. Like your book choices, but find difficult to get in Inida

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    1. Thanks! I know it is hard to find all these books in India. I wish we had more public libraries there.

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  26. Nupur - I have tried to comment twice on two different posts including this one via my google account and havent seen the comment pop up after review. Just mentioning this in case others have also had this happen.

    Anyway congrats on this big milestone and I love your blog - good mix of all my favorite topics (food, cooking, crafts, books) which is why I keep coming back to it in all these years. Keep it up! Glad to have your presence in the blogosphere. - Sindhu

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    1. Sindhu- I'm sorry comments are disappearing :( No idea why it happens. Thanks very much for the good wishes and for reading my blog!

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    2. Sindhu - the same thing has happened to me! If I sign in to my Google account before commenting, then it works. Otherwise the comment disappears when I am sent to the Google sign-in page.

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    3. Good to know, thanks! - Sindhu

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