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review 2018-11-09 18:11
All the Happy Endings - and the power of popular culture
All the Happy Endings - Helen Papashvily All the Happy Endings - Helen Papashvily

If popular culture weren't so politically powerful, we wouldn't have so much of it.


I read All the Happy Endings as part of the research for my master's thesis, and it was one of those old books that I could never find a copy of for myself.  So I brazenly photocopied it.  Now that I'm scanning these photocopies into PDF format, I'm taking another look at some of my notes, too.


Papashvily focuses on the "domestic novels" of the 19th century, but also on the writers and the readers.  She sees enormous social and -- more important -- political impact from these seemingly harmless tales.  She claims they were in essence guidelines for domestic revolution.


If indeed they were, but if their influence only went as far as a revolution confined to the private space of hearth and home, did they encourage women to become independent, or did they instead reinforce the patriarchal status quo by making women believe in an illusion of domestic - and therefore matrimonial -- power?


There has been so much talk lately about why women -- and yes specifically white women -- so often vote against their own best interests.  It may in fact be that they aren't, because those women have a very different definition of their own best interests.  And that definition may lie in some -- but not necessarily all -- of those happy endings.


Shelved for a re-read.








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text 2018-10-31 11:37
Happy Halloween!

Seen in a Corsica winery, last week.  No pumpkins, but let nobody say the French (well, the Corsicans, anyway) don't keep the spirit of the season.


And with that, I'll raise a glass to Moonlight and OB for hosting another fabulous Halloween Bingo!  I had an enormous amount of fun, and it was great watching everybody else's Halloween reads and comparing notes.


Thank you so much!


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text 2018-10-13 07:18
The Ethnic Food You Need to Try in the Treasure Valley

There is a rich and diverse culinary culture and tradition in the Treasure Valley. Whether it’s sushi in Eagle Idaho or pho in Garden City, the following is just a fraction of the ethnic and cultural cuisine you should try in the Treasure Valley.

As Boise hosts the largest concentration of Basque people outside of the Basque Country, it has some stellar Basque food. The Basques are a distinct cultural, ethnic, and linguistic community that hails from the Pyrenees between France and Spain. Basque food is like Basque people—complex, welcoming, hearty, unique but with a dash of Spanish and French influence, and incredibly impressive.

Anyone who spends any time in the Treasure Valley and doesn’t try Basque out at least once will regret it. Try a chorizo dish, definitely get croquetas, and an order of fries. The potato has played a historical role in Basque cuisine, and it means that they cook a mean basket of fries.

Ethiopian and Eritrean

Arguably the chief contributor to the culinary renaissance being enjoyed by the Treasure Valley right now is Idaho’s internationally recognized and hugely successful refugee resettlement program. African refugees are one of the largest populations resettling here. Hence, incredibly tasty Ethiopian and Eritrean food.

Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant fare focuses on the presentation of beautifully spiced lamb, beef, chicken, crisp lettuce, turmeric-touched rice, and hearty sauces all served on injera bread. Injera is a soft bread made with teff flour in a fermentation process that achieves a sort of light, doughy, even spongy consistency. It’s hard to explain how good injera is and how unbelievably good it is when rolled around an Ethiopian or Eritrean delicacy.

Asian Fusion

The Treasure Valley has managed to cultivate a fusion subculture combining Chinese, Thai, and Korean culinary traditions with American comfort food in a unique and delicious way. Seek out an establishment that offers freshly rolled sushi prepared by master chefs as well as an array of sake and Japanese whisky for a not-to-be-missed happy hour in Meridian. Whether you want noodles and rice, a wok-fired stir fry, or to enjoy a hot pot, dining in Treasure Valley is sure to leave you satisfied.


Kabobs. Sure, there’s Afghan cuisine that’s not kabob-based, but it’s hard to focus on that when kabobs are so delicious. Whether it’s lamb, chicken, or beef, served whole or ground “shami” style, it’s all marinated and spiced so you’re served some serious flavor. Before the kabobs, get an order of the savory sambosa turnovers. It’s all simply unlike anything you’ll get anywhere else.

That’s what’s so incredible about the Treasure Valley’s selection. It’s not just that it’s all so unforgettably good, but that it’s all simply unlike food you’ll get anywhere else. A diversity of cuisine that’s as varied and amazing as the people responsible for it. Bon appétit!

About Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill

Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill in Meridian offers the best Asian restaurant experience in the Treasure Valley. Their menu features delectable food, exotic drinks, and a sparkling ambiance—the perfect setting for a quick lunch, happy hour drink, family dinner, or a special celebration. Stop by for the best happy hour and the most flavorful sushi in Meridian Idaho.

Get yourself a table tonight at Lingandlouies.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/6RmRy9

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text 2018-10-12 14:23
Fun Asian Cultural Experiences in the Treasure Valley

Boise has been attracting an international population since its inception. In fact, local mining operations drew in so many Chinese laborers that Idaho Territory’s population was nearly 30% Chinese back in 1870. Subsequent immigration, including Idaho’s internationally recognized refugee resettlement program, has brought future Idahoans from Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Bhutan, Thailand, and a number of other countries. That’s good news for residents of the Treasure Valley who have access to a number of exciting cultural experiences from dance groups to places to eat in Meridian. Enjoy this list of fun Asian cultural experiences in the Treasure Valley.
Trade Viet Market

Have you heard of star apples? If not, you’re not alone. The orange-sized fruit (not an apple) is available in Boise at the Trade Viet Market. This Asian grocery store has a selection of goods and produce from all over Asia. If you decide to pick up a star apple, the key is to massage them, break them open, and drink the nectarous, milky juice inside.

The Boise Traditional Chinese Dance Group

This dance group began as an after-school program for students from the Boise Modern Chinese School. The program was so popular that the number of dance classes quickly quadrupled and the official, performing dance group was formed. When the founder of the group, Hua Yan, is not teaching students classical Chinese dancing, the Chopstick Dance, Fan Dance, or the Tibetan Dance (among others, and all in handmade, traditional costumes), she is a multiple award-winning PhD molecular scientist for the J.R. Simplot company. Watching a performance is sure to be a memorable experience.

Japanese Whisky and Sake Sampling

This isn’t your average happy hour in Meridian. If you’re looking for a particularly special experience, visit a restaurant with a wide range of unique Japanese whiskies as well as sake to try. Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill offers a variety of American and Asian drinks, including a selection of not-to-be-missed fine Japanese whiskies. Enjoy some sake, sip some Japanese whisky, and order something tasty off of their mouthwatering sushi menu.

Ah Fong Apothecary

Dr. C.K. Ah Fong was a mining doctor who’d commonly travel 50 miles one way to tend to an ill or injured miner. In 1892, after a fire destroyed his home, office, and apothecary, he relocated to booming Boise City, Idaho, in the center of Idaho Territory’s largest Chinatown. He was a civil rights pioneer, successfully challenging the local medical board for refusing him a license to practice medicine in 1901 (despite having a medical degree), taking it all the way to the Idaho Supreme Court. Not only that, his son and grandson continued to serve the Treasure Valley until 1971, when the building his apothecary was located in was flagged for demolition. However, the contents of his apothecary have been largely preserved and can be seen as it was on display at the Idaho State Historical Museum.

So whether it’s history preserved, traditional Chinese dance, or a glass of Japanese whisky you’re interested in, the Treasure Valley has all that to offer and more.

About Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill

Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill in Meridian offers the best Asian restaurant experience in the Treasure Valley. Their menu features delectable food, exotic drinks, and a sparkling ambiance—the perfect setting for a quick lunch, happy hour drink, family dinner, or a special celebration. Stop by for the best happy hour in Eagle ID area and the most flavorful sushi in Meridian.

Get yourself a table tonight at Lingandlouies.com

Original Source: https://goo.gl/9kh4A8

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review 2018-09-26 12:39
The Little Shop of Happy Ever After - Jenny Colgan

this book is known as The Little Shop of Happy Ever After in the UK but for some reason the updates I've tried to make haven't been kept.


Nina finds herself on the brink of redundancy. She loves being a librarian, being surrounded by books and finding the right book for the right person. But redundancy brings Nina the opportunity to open her own bookshop. It just happens that the bookshop is in the back of a van. And the need for the bookshop is in Scotland, not Birmingham where she lives. Finding the courage she didn’t know she had, Nina moves to the highlands. But things don’t always go as planned.


Books about books have a special feel about them. Books celebrating the love of the literary, the joy of accessing books of all forms are a bibliophile’s boon. There was a lovely atmosphere to this tale and I was soon wrapped up in the lives of Nina and co.

I loved the idea of the bookshop, tootling around the local villages, taking in all of the beautiful scenery. Some of the books mentioned in the novel were so well described that I found myself looking them up to see if they were available to buy, only to find that they were created purely as part of this story.


The book is full of charming characters. Nina is lovely and as the story progresses the reader sees her rediscovering herself, finding strength, confidence and drive she wasn’t aware she possessed. The villagers are a lovely bunch and together with Nina’s friends bring humour and warmth to the story. Then there are Marek and Lennox, two men between whom Nina is torn. Both bring different qualities to the story. It is though Nina who drives the narrative.


A lovely, entertaining way to spend a few hours. I’ll be reading more by Jenny Colgan soon.

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