Welcome to the Stone Soup Weekly Digest! This is where I share what I'm up to and some of my favorite things from around the internet. Subscribe to Stone Soup to get this in your inbox every week.
Welcome to November! There are lots of new folks joining us this month so I thought I’d take this opportunity to let you know about the Stone Soup Supper Club, where we hang out all month, talking about books and food and what’s happening in our lives. This month, we’re reading a Shirley Jackson Award winning book and trying out my favorite approach to gnocchi! Come check it out!!
In this month’s Supper Club chat, we’re helping support folks who are participating in NaNoWriMo! If you’re participating, I hope you’ll let us know in the comments, either here or in the Supper Club post linked above. If you have a hard time hitting wordcount, here’s a pep talk to get you through.
Supper Club subscribers get all kinds of cool stuff, and 2023 is going to include some extra-special perks. I hope to see you there!
From the Archive: In Which I Overthink Recipe Cards
I love writing recipes and sharing them with friends and family (that includes you, Stone Soup subscribers!). I use a recipe card system that allows me to capture my recipes on a single index card for easy reference while I’m cooking. Years of workshopping led me to this system and format for recipe cards, and it was so fun to get to share it with subscribers. Check it out in the archives!
My favorite way to cook is improvisational. I love to open the cupboard and put a meal together based on what I find lurking behind the chickpeas. But when a recipe succeeds, or when I want to figure out how to share it with someone else, or when I’m inventing something new and want to plan ahead, or when I’m trying something new and I don’t know enough yet to experiment, I write up a recipe card.
I do each of these by hand on a 3x5” index card. The goal is always to fit the whole recipe on a single card, so I can prop it up on my recipe card box and refer to it easily as I cook. I use a system of notation that breaks down the recipe by process, into no more than four movements (five including kitchen prep)...
Samantha Mills’s “Rabbit Test” out now in Uncanny
This short story about abortion throughout history is so powerful. Well worth a read, especially if you’re hungry for a sense of connection to those who have sought authority over their own bodies for centuries.
The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao Preorder
Kritika H. Rao’s book The Surviving Sky is with a new publisher! If you preordered, you’ll need to place your preorder again. Let’s flood the new publisher with preorder demand for this one!
Know Your Station #1 is getting some absolutely stunning variant covers from incredible artists. Have you preordered your issue from your local comic book shop yet?
Alyssa Wong starts their run on Deadpool
Yes, you read that right: Alyssa Wong is writing Deadpool. Folks, I can tell you with absolute certainty that you don’t want to miss this. Wong is bringing an incredible lens to this character. It’s gross, sweet, funny, and a completely delightful ride featuring some of the coolest characters I’ve ever seen. Go check it out!
❤️🖤 IT'S DEADPOOL LAUNCH WEEK!!! 🖤❤️— Alyssa Wong 🎃🌈 (@crashwong) October 31, 2022
Issue #1 of my run with @coccolo_martin and @neerajnmenon comes out this Wednesday, Nov. 2!! Strap in for a sweet(??) body horror romantic comedy that's definitely leaving somebody in stitches! 😬🫀 pic.twitter.com/uARPSDLDOp
The God of Arepo by Reimena Yee
This free-to-read webcomic about a God of Nothing was so healing and lovely to read. I needed it. Maybe you need it, too.
The God of Arepo / a comic about a farmer who befriends a nothing god (1/13) pic.twitter.com/xdRfj0mZkF— Reimena Yee | Read MY AUNT IS A MONSTER (@reimenayee) November 1, 2022
Visit a Neighbor: Earthquake Weather by Kate Dollarhyde
As long-time Stone Soup readers know, Kate Dollarhyde is one of my favorite writers. She’s launching a newsletter! Earthquake Weather is coming soon, but trust me: you’ll want to sign up now so you don’t miss a thing.
I’m Reading: Books of Blood by Clive Barker
With the 1984 publication of Books of Blood, Clive Barker became an overnight literary sensation. He was hailed by Stephen King as "the future of horror, " and won both the British and World Fantasy Awards. Now, with his numerous bestsellers, graphic novels, and hit movies like the Hellraiser films, Clive Barker has become an industry unto himself. But it all started here, with this tour de force collection that rivals the dark masterpieces of Edgar Allan Poe. Read him, and rediscover the true meaning of fear.
Featured New Release: Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall
Paris Daillencourt is a recipe for disaster. Despite his passion for baking, his cat, and his classics degree, constant self-doubt and second-guessing have left him a curdled, directionless mess. So when his roommate enters him in Bake Expectations, the nation’s favourite baking show, Paris is sure he’ll be the first one sent home.
But not only does he win week one’s challenge—he meets fellow contestant Tariq Hassan. Sure, he’s the competition, but he’s also cute and kind, with more confidence than Paris could ever hope to have. Still, neither his growing romance with Tariq nor his own impressive bakes can keep Paris’s fear of failure from spoiling his happiness. And when the show’s vicious fanbase confirms his worst anxieties, Paris’s confidence is torn apart quicker than tear-and-share bread.
But if Paris can find the strength to face his past, his future, and the chorus of hecklers that live in his brain, he’ll realize it’s the sweet things in life that he really deserves.
Add Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble to your tbr here. Order it from your local independent bookseller, or order it via Bookshop.org to support independent booksellers throughout the US and the UK. For international shipping, you can try Barnes & Noble. If you prefer audiobooks, here’s a Libro.fm link. You can also request Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble from your local library — here’s how to get in touch with them. And if you need to order from the Bad River Website, here’s a link that will leverage your order for good.
My Favorite Reads of October
The Scratch Daughters by H.A. Clarke
Sideways Pike is desperate. It turns out that Madeline Kline didn’t want to make out with her; infinitely worse, she was only flirting to get access to Sideways’ specter. Madeline has ripped the magical soul out of Sideways’ throat, and with it, everything that makes a witch feel whole. Madeline would know: the Chantry boys took hers, and she’s going to use Sideways’ specter to hunt them down and get it back.
Sideways Pike, lesbian witch extraordinaire, isn’t going to let little things like a treacherous crush or a brutal family of creepy witch hunters stop her, even if it means tracking down Madeline without the Scapegracers—her best friends, her coven, the girls she’s come to love ferociously above all else. But Sideways and her trusty bike are in for a bumpy ride...
H.A. Clarke does it like no other. The sequel to Scapegracers, Scratch Daughters picks up right where the previous book left off. It explores the complex queerness of teen friendships; it explores recovery and rehabilitation; it explores gender and sexuality and uncertainty. Confrontational, wild, fucking magic.
Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova
Grieving mother Magos cuts out a piece of her deceased eleven-year-old son Santiago’s lung. Acting on fierce maternal instinct and the dubious logic of an old folktale, she nurtures the lung until it gains sentience, growing into the carnivorous little Monstrilio she keeps hidden within the walls of her family’s decaying Mexico City estate. Eventually, Monstrilio begins to resemble the Santiago he once was, but his innate impulses—though curbed by his biological and chosen family’s communal care—threaten to destroy this fragile second chance at life.
A thought-provoking meditation on grief, acceptance, and the monstrous sides of love and loyalty, Gerardo Sámano Córdova blends bold imagination and evocative prose with deep emotional rigor. Told in four acts that span the globe from Brooklyn to Berlin, Monstrilio offers, with uncanny clarity, a cathartic and precise portrait of being human.
I couldn’t believe this goddamn book was real. It’s gorgeous – a book about the self and the other, about raising children, about the fluidity in a lifetime of relationships. It’s also very simply and directly about a monster, a real monster, a monster that isn’t monstrous due to context and conditioning but simply due to his monstrosity. Shocking, delightful, triumphant.
Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison
A young woman in need of a transformation finds herself in touch with the animal inside in this gripping, incisive novel from the author of Cackle and The Return.
Rory Morris isn't thrilled to be moving back to her hometown, even if it is temporary. There are bad memories there. But her twin sister, Scarlett, is pregnant, estranged from the baby's father, and needs support, so Rory returns to the place she thought she'd put in her rearview. After a night out at a bar where she runs into Ian, an old almost-flame, she hits a large animal with her car. And when she gets out to investigate, she's attacked.
Rory survives, miraculously, but life begins to look and feel different. She's unnaturally strong, with an aversion to silver--and suddenly the moon has her in its thrall. She's changing into someone else--something else, maybe even a monster. But does that mean she's putting those close to her in danger? Or is embracing the wildness inside of her the key to acceptance?
Sometimes you just need a werewolf book. With sharp, snappy prose and a grittily grounded protagonist, Such Sharp Teeth looks at lycanthropy through lenses of trauma, childbirth, sisterhood, and power. Badass, fun, thoughtful.
If you’re a paying subscriber, come by the Stone Soup Supper Club for our weekly chat! I can’t wait to find out how you’re doing.
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