Taking Up Room is seven years old…zoikes, that’s scary. I can’t believe how much time has gone by already and how much has happened in the past year. Does anyone else think 2022 felt like a long year?
Yet here we are in December, and WordPress very kindly sent me this:
Some of you later readers might not know that Taking Up Room originally started as a book blog. It didn’t last long, though, at least as a regular thing, because movie reviews are much quicker, and much as I would love to, I just don’t have the time to do the amount of reading a book blog would need. Maybe someday book reviews will get more integrated into the proceedings, but we’ll see.
In honor of the blog’s early life, I thought I’d include seven of the book reviews that have appeared here, and in some cases we’ll be hitting the Way, Way Back button on the Wayback Machine. Here we go (click on the images to read the posts)…
Our Mite For the Kitchen (1887)
The first real review I ever published on Taking Up Room was about a Victorian cookbook published by the Ladies of the Episcopal Mite Society. Reading that book was quite the journey because the recipes weren’t written in the way that we’re used to, not to mention methods have changed (who boils vegetables for an hour?), not to mention there are sections devoted to DIY cosmetics and recipes specially designed for sick people. Loppered milk, anyone?
The Search For Delicious (1969)
This book is a real treat. It was Natalie Babbit’s first major success and has a lot of wonderful plays on words, which is one of the things she was known for besides Tuck Everlasting. I read it to my son when he was laid up after tendon transfer surgery and it was a nice, relaxing experience for both of us. It also got us thinking of our favorite foods, which wasn’t a bad thing because it was Christmastime anyway.
A Year In Bodie (2013)
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read A Year In Bodie, which was written by Carl Chavez, one of Bodie’s first official park rangers, and his wife, Margaret. They were just out of college when Carl was assigned to Bodie and jumped at the chance to live and work in the California ghost town, which had just recently become a State Park. This book left me with lots of questions and answers, but that’s all good.
Mama’s Bank Account (1943)
If anyone has seen I Remember Mama, or even if they haven’t, this book is an absolute delight. My husband is one quarter Norwegian and my sister-in-law is half Swedish, so there was quite a bit in this book that was comforting and home-y (The characters even eat sandbakkels in one scene, which my mother-in-law makes every Christmastime and which are absolutely wonderful). Mama’s Bank Account went on to be a play, the classic George Stevens movie, a radio show, and a television series.
The founding and purpose of the town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee was a very deep secret during World War Two, and with good reason: It was one of the places in the United States where uranium was being developed for atomic bombs. The place was so secretive that co-workers couldn’t talk about their jobs, not even to their families, or even to each other. Yet a thriving community was built and later told its story to author Denise Kiernan, who wrote a fascinating book about it.
Eat Like A Gilmore (2016)
Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are famous for their hearty appetites, of course, and it was only a matter of time before someone decided to bring that experience home. This review was fun to do because I cooked a few of the recipes out of it and included photos of the results, so having a snack handy might be a good thing when reading it. Funnily enough, an authorized cookbook of Gilmore Girls has come out since this book and its sequel, Daily Cravings were released, so we’ll be going back to this topic.
Gee, another food-related book…whaddaya know? Not to brag or anything, but my Heartburn review is a favorite among Taking Up Room readers, which I’m sort of surprised about because book reviews don’t always have a long shelf life. Then again, Nora Ephron’s cathartic novel is pretty classic, so it’s not surprising that people want to read about it.
Yeah, I did not anticipate so many of these reviews being about food and food-ish themes, but they’re among Taking Up Room’s most popular, so there we have it. It’s all good.
I want to thank everyone who’s been reading Taking Up Room and taken the time to comment (so sorry that I’m behind in answering comments!) and support the blog, all the people who have participated in blogathons, and the fun we’ve had this year! It might look corny and clichéd, but it wouldn’t have been the same without all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and here’s to 2023.
All right, people, see you on Wednesday with a new “Page To Screen.” Thanks again…
If you’re enjoying what you see on Taking Up Room, please look for additional content on Substack, where you’ll find both free and subscriber-only articles. I publish every Wednesday and Saturday.