Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Catching up on my reading

I have this crutch when it comes to reading stuff. I last about a sentence length and then either a) get distracted by something shiny, b) get interrupted by a plaintive "MOOOOHHHHHH-MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" or c) get too tired to keep my eyes open. Which means I have stacks of half-read books and dog-eared magazines all over the house, patiently waiting for me to settle down long enough to absorb a paragraph.

In the midst of a recent cleaning binge, for example, I came across a pristine May/June issue of Vines magazine. There's a great piece on deciphering German wines with Sara D'Amato (who also talks about being a pregnant sommelier in her blog), as well as Jancis Robinson's regular column, this time about how wine-producing countries are reviving interest in indigenous varietals over the typical vitis vinifera.

And why not, really? During a time when our vernacular is peppered with words like "locavore", "100-mile diet" and "sustainability", why wouldn't we turn towards grape species that have either been here from the start, or are based on native root stock built to withstand the dreaded Wind Chill of our true north, strong and free?

But I digress. Back to the reading list. I checked out Neal I. Rosenthal's Reflections of a Wine Merchant from the library, and had it sitting on my bedside table for three weeks. Now I have to send it back, unread, and add my name to the "requested" list yet again, in the hopes that a copy will come up sooner rather than later. Sigh ...

I did, however, get to finish the mother of all motherhood books, Heather B. Armstrong's It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown and a Much-Needed Margarita. You need no other parenting reference than this one. I started reading Heather's witty monologues on dooce.com mere months after the Doodle was born. This book was a refreshing, honest and, at times, painful look at surviving postpartum depression, and read like an autobiography for me. In between laughs, I kept wondering, 'How did she get into my head like that?' She doesn't just wear her heart on her sleeve, she pours her guts out all over the place and dares you to pick through the chunks. She's also my inspiration for starting up this blog in the first place, having demonstrated that you *can* have a life after a baby. (Thanks, Heather!)

Speaking of blogs, I've also been reading through the long list of what's new on my fave sites. Ron Eade's pretty excited about Zen Kitchen, a new fine dining vegetarian joint that opened up in Ottawa's Chinatown; YGL at Writer's Caboose is trying to find The Balance between his novel, his blog and adopting a baby; and The Wayward Pilgrim is ticking off her packing list before heading to Israel. I greatly enjoy living vicariously through other bloggers.

Somewhere in there I scan countless newsletters and e-zines on wine, reviews, travel and the like as they filter in and out of my Hotmail box. And then suddenly the toilet will overflow, the Doodle demands another showing of Bambi and the phone's ringing. Off I go ...

*****
Edited on Monday, July 6, to add: Even though I likely won't get through all three without several extensions, I picked up a few new reads from the library tonight: The Battle for Wine and Love: How I Saved the World from Parkerization (Alice Feiring); Seeds of Wealth: Five Plants that made Men Rich (Henry Hobhouse) and, just for fun, Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence. We'll see how far along I can get before the due date ... stay tuned ...

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