We’re going on an Appalachian road trip!

Jarrett and I have decided to be wildly irresponsible (well, by our standards) and take a few days off to go on an epic Appalachian road trip. We’ve been wanting to trek down the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains, from Virginia into North Carolina, for a long time, but when Jarrett gifted me Victuals by Ronni Lundy, we stopped dreaming and started planning.

 ronni lundy book cover victuals

Victuals is such a gorgeous book. It inspires that feeling of awe in me that only a beautiful book, full of heart and story and soul, can instill.

I’d asked Jarrett for a book on traditional Virginia cooking for Christmas, since I figured it was about time to build that section of my library now that we’ve lived here for several years. I was expecting The Virginia Housewife by Mrs. Mary Randolph, published in 1824 and considered to be the first truly American cookbook. But now I’ve fallen straight in love with the modern warmth of Victuals and the incredible profiles of chefs, farmers, and everyday folks who are revitalizing the food systems of Appalachia.

If you love the South, or you love good Southern food, or you read Hillbilly Elegy and wanted to learn more, or you just want to bring something new into your kitchen, Victuals is just what you need. (And no, I didn’t represent this book—I just love it!)

You know a book is fantastic when it inspires you to get up off the couch and drive out to all of the places it’s talking about. As soon as we realized Jarrett would be able to take two weeks off before starting his new think tank job, we started scheming for an adventure. So we’re packing up our little (and currently stinky) hatchback, heading straight west from Alexandria, and then winding down Skyline Drive through the mountains, pointing straight to Asheville.

Along the way, we’re hoping to stop at:

Three Notch’d Brewery and Brothers Craft Brewing (Harrisonburg, VA)

The Shack (Staunton, VA)

Dip Dog Stand (Marion, VA, where we’ll also be visiting our future newest addition to the family, Pepper, who just had 8 pups but will be joining our little family in February! Also, how perfect is it that there’s a legendary slaw dog joint where our future doggie lives? You know that made me too happy.)

The Red Hen (Lexington, VA)

Ralph Stanley Museum (Clintwood, VA)

Everything in Blacksburg, VA

The Palisades (Eggleston Springs, VA—another Victual recommendation)

Seeing what there is to see in Johnson City, TN

Picking up Farm & Sparrow bread (Asheville, NC)

Rhubarb (Asheville, NC [because I couldn’t talk Jarrett into detouring out to Blackberry Farm])

NOT 12 Bones Smokehouse because they are closed and all our hearts are broken.

 

We have a few nights booked at The Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, VA and at The Biltmore in Asheville, but other than that we’re going to Hotel Tonight it. (Has anyone used this app before? It will be our first time!)

And for once, we’re throwing caution to the wind and not planning every day of the trip. This makes me both nervous and excited. I usually like to have every hotel night booked, every sight slotted into the calendar, every meal reservation booked. But if there’s ever a time in our lives we can wander and a place we can do so without getting hopelessly lost, it’s this trip now.

So follow along with us on Instagram as we get lost in Appalachia!

In the meantime, because you know I wouldn’t take off and leave you empty-bellied, here’s a fantastic recipe that I adapted from Victuals, as well as an interlude from Jarrett on how to properly and non-psychopathically care for a vintage cast iron skillet.

Potato and Kale Cakes

kale potato cakes recipe victuals ronni lundy

Recipe adapted from Victuals by Ronni Lundy

Serves 6

3 pounds russet or other starchy potatoes
Kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds kale, washed and chopped
Olive oil
5 green onions
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, or another hard, nutty cheese
4 eggs, beaten

Put a large pot of salted water over high heat. While it comes to a boil, peel and cube the potatoes. Drop the potatoes in the boiling water and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

As the potatoes boil, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a heavy cast iron skillet. Add as much kale as will fit in your skillet, cook until it just begins to wilt (don’t overcook it!), remove to a bowl, and repeat until all the kale is cooked.

Drain the potatoes and mash them roughly in a large bowl, then add the cooked kale. Finely chop and add the green onions and grate about 1/2 cup of pecorino romano or another hard cheese directly into the bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Add the beaten eggs and mix well, then form into patties about 3 inches across and 1 inch thick.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in your cast iron skillet and fry the patties, working in batches and being careful not to crowd the pan.

Serve with some Duke’s Mayo whipped in with ketchup and whole grain mustard, or with a few fried eggs on top.

kale potato cakes recipe victuals ronni lundy

See how grubby and greasy that cast iron skillet is? That’s why we have Jarrett here to tell us how to clean it the simple way!

The Sane Person’s Guide to Cleaning a Cast Iron Skillet

Maria and I were lucky to receive a beautiful, vintage Griswold cast iron skillet for Christmas. A close friend–an auctioneer, of course!–found one of these beauties for us after we had told him we were on the lookout. And yes, having a well-made cast iron skillet makes all the difference.

Old-fashioned, vintage skillets (brands like Wagner and Griswold) are superior to the modern-day Lodges of the world. The iron for these older skillets was cast through a process that made for smoother and more consistent iron surfaces, which means a more durable skillet and a better cooking experience, with more even heat.

Although Wagners and Griswolds are sadly no longer manufactured, you can find them at auctions or on sites like Ebay. Happily, there are also some new companies, like Virginia-made Butter Pat Inc., that are making skillets via the old-fashioned method. You can expect to pay more, but at least you’ll be getting your money’s worth, too.

Now that we have this glorious hunk of iron, we had to figure out how to clean a cast iron skillet properly. But as anyone who has Googled how to clean a cast iron skillet knows, you can read about this stuff until you’re blue in the face. The think-pieces about how to clean a cast iron skillet are legion–for example, J. Kenji López-Alt has written not just one, but two 2,000-word essays on the topic. He even claims that the cardinal rule of cast iron maintenance–never use soap–is actually wrong. (If you want to go deep on the subject of how to maintain cast iron, both pieces are great reads.)

But all of this pontificating on skillets makes using one seem like a hassle, which is a shame since you can cook so many awesome things in skillets (including Maria’s recipe above, or this Founding Farmer’s Cornbread!). So, today, Maria and I have for you:

The Simple Way to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

Here we lay out a few, simple rules, which we’ve distilled from the advice of Brian, our auctioneer friend who has sold and taken care of dozens of vintage, highly valuable cast iron skillets over the years. If these rules are good enough for the precious Griswold and Wagner cast iron skillets he deals in, then they’re good enough for me!

Here’s all you really need to do:

  • After using your cast iron skillet, just wipe it clean with a dry cloth or paper towel.
  • If the skillet is extra grubby, you can scour it with a damp paper towel or with coarse salt.
  • If the cast iron skillet still isn’t getting clean, boil a small amount of water in the skillet until it evaporates and then wipe or scour again.
  • Once finished cleaning, rub lightly with any neutral oil, such as vegetable oil.

And that’s it! All you really need to know to clean your cast iron skillet easily is this simple 2 step process: wipe/scour + oil.

By the way, we stay away from soap–it’s unnecessary if you follow the above steps. Added bonus: you won’t have to choose sides in the heated soap vs. no-soap debate.

Happy cooking & cleaning!

Our wedding photos!

At last, they’re here! Well…truthfully we saw them a few months ago, but now we finally have the shareable files! Many of you were so sweet in asking to see photos of our wedding, and I didn’t want you all to think I wasn’t going to deliver on that promise.

Looking back on them now, almost 5 months after our wedding, I can barely believe it all happened and whirled by so quickly. I didn’t think I could feel more grateful, but each time I look through the photos, my heart grows two sizes.

I know everyone says this about their wedding, but honest to god, we know the best people. They hauled and sewed and ironed and cleaned and arranged and sweated and saved the day about a thousand times a minute on our wedding day, and all the months before.

Thank you, every one of you. The gift you gave us is one we can never repay.

As I mentioned here, we had planned for an all-outdoor wedding from the start (one of the few things I felt strongly about, not having been a planning-since-I-was-five type!). The forecast was clear, clear, clear right up until the morning of, when, I kid you not, a monsoon suddenly swept through Ann Arbor. I just remember looking out the floor-to-ceiling window at the salon and watching these huge raindrops smacking the pavement. My makeup artist turned my chair around quickly so I wouldn’t have to look at the rain anymore.

So what to do? Step 1: have a good cry. Step 2: fix it. After my salon appointment, I trekked through the mall, dead-set on buying myself a very cute, very expensive pair of rain boots that would work with my dress. Jarrett was a nervous wreck, too, and as soon as he texted “Want me to come to you?,” I felt better. He picked me up, and we sat in the mall parking lot, laughing, crying, laughing some more over how caught up we’d gotten in making the day “perfect.” We were definitely those people that got buried in the details.

It was kind of hilarious that it was our wedding day, and we were sitting in our sweats in a mall parking lot. I think that’s what made me feel better–that I could spend a few minutes alone with this guy and not have to give a hoot about all the fuss of the wedding, because we were getting married that day no matter what fell out of the sky.

So, when people ask me what my favorite moment of the day was, it was that very unglamorous moment in the parking lot. It’s not in these photos, but it’s still one I’ll never forget. And after all that, the rains ended up passing and we were able to have most of the wedding outdoors anyway!

Now, enough with the cheez whiz, here are the photos! As you’ll see, we had to move the ceremony into the barn on account of that rain, but we still got to have dinner outside after the skies cleared, which made me very, very happy. All of that was thanks to the unstoppable force of our friends and vendors who were hauling our entire wedding around while Jarrett and I sad-giggled in a parked car.

And before anyone asks if I’d have an outdoor wedding again: yes. One thousand times yes.

A huge thank you to Dustin Stockel of Dustin Francis Photography, for capturing the memories of our day!

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And that’s a wrap! 🙂


What I’m Reading This Week:

Two Bloggers Who “Burned It All Down” with Risky Writing (Dianne Jacob): This is such a fascinating topic for discussion–Dianne shares the stories of two food bloggers who got deeply personal and asks whether there’s a place for that rawness in blogging. I couldn’t resist and left my own comment on the discussion, but I’m curious to hear how other blog readers feel about highly personal writing!

Book Marketing Resources for Authors: The Best of 2016 (Jane Friedman): A fantastic roundup of book marketing basics, updated for the here and now. Bookmark it and come back to it whenever you’re feeling stumped.

What It’s Like to be a Cookbook Ghostwriter (Katherine Martinelli for Bon Appetit): There’s a lot of shrouded mystery (couldn’t help the pun…) around cookbook ghostwriting. But I get asked about it all the time, by chefs and writers alike, so this is the piece I’ll start pointing them to.

Paying Rent with Words (Susan Shapiro for City Lab): “Departing from a focus on pure craft, more schools are helping students learn how to turn a profit.” Hallelujah. The less you need to do other stuff to pay the rent, the more you can write.

Publishing a Cookbook: Photography (Part One) (Thriving Home): My lovely authors Polly and Rachel have been writing a fantastic behind-the-scenes series on publishing their cookbook, From Freezer to Table. This post will not only tell you what to expect when staging a cookbook lifestyle shoot, but it will also make you smile at how cute their families are.

How Much Does Facebook Advertising Cost? The Complete Guide to Facebook Ads Pricing (Alfred Lua for Buffer): Thinking about taking out a few Facebook ads for your book or other product? Here’s a handy primer to lead the way.

Building a Platform to Land a Book Deal: Why It Often Fails (Jane Friedman): “Platform building doesn’t stop if you do land a book deal. Your journey has just begun. The good news is that authors can build a platform by engaging in activities that are most enjoyable to them—because if they’re not enjoyable, you won’t continue doing them for the time required to see any kind of pay off. If you build platform only as a means to an end, it generally fails, and that’s why I tend to get cynical when authors try to do it only in service of securing a book deal. It doesn’t reflect an understanding of the much bigger picture: the tremendous value of being visible to your audience.” Amen.


What We’re Cooking This Week:

It’s a NYC week for me, so here’s the gritty truth:

Monday: Burrito bowls (made by Jarrett!).

Tuesday: Rice and beans at my Yaya’s!

Wednesday: Scavenge.

Thursday: Soup on the train, if I’m really lucky.

Friday: Jarrett’s been left very specific instructions to make BBQ chicken drumsticks and brussels sprouts for us to eat before we takeoff to the airport. (We’re in Ann Arbor for the long weekend!) Let’s all send positive thoughts his way.

Cheers!

The only new year’s resolution writers should make

Jarrett and I had the most fantastic staycation between Christmas and the new year. It felt so, so good to relax and get a few long-standing projects done around the house. The week was full of crazy exciting things like gift-wrapping and Costco shopping and house cleaning. We’re a wild bunch here.

There was also, of course, a lot of reading. I’m reading about four books at the same time right now, and while I’m not quite sure how I get myself into this love rectangle, it’s been magical.

Once again, one of my new year’s resolutions this year is to read more. To read well. To read where my interests lead me and explore new kinds of relationships with new kinds of books and new ways of thinking.

I will always believe that reading well is the single most important commitment any writer, creative, or curious person can make.

new years resolution for writers to get published

Here’s why:

When I started out in publishing I had a sort of weird job: I was the editorial assistant for both a nonfiction imprint and a genre romance imprint. It was incredible—one minute I’d be writing a tipsheet for a bestselling author’s next cookbook and the next I’d be editing racy copy for a romance novel. My desk was equal parts “Lose 20 pounds in 20 days!” and “Has the billionaire cowboy finally met his match”? It was fun.

Working on series romance was a huge stroke of luck since it meant I got to edit manuscripts and build my own author list right away. I will never forget the day a Senior Editor handed me a manuscript and asked if I wanted to take a crack at editing a book. I ran back to my desk, grabbed a red pen, and started reading—I had officially made it! I was editing A BOOK. A real book. People were going to read this book I was editing. I would edit it until it was the best book that had ever existed. My comments would be profound yet kind. My edits would be impeccable.

Two paragraphs into the manuscript, I hated my life. The book was awful. It was boring, clunky, empty words, one after the other after the other. Words plodding along for two hundred tiresome pages. I began to fantasize about quitting. It seemed the only humane thing to do, for the author and for myself. I would write a brilliantly worded resignation letter, and it would show them my true genius and talent. Genius and talent that shouldn’t be wasted on this drivel.

Instead, I gave myself a mental slapping around, pointed out to myself that there isn’t a speck of genius or talent to be found on me, and kept reading. I edited one such manuscript every month for the next nearly 3 years, and I learned something very important:

The mere act of writing will never make you a better writer.

Not ever.

You can pound away at the keyboard for the next infinity years and never have output that’s any good.

Because to output good writing you need to input good writing. It’s that simple.

If you don’t read outside of the echo chamber of your genre or category, it won’t matter how disciplined you are about sticking to a write-every-day resolution. You won’t one day emit good writing just because you’ve hit some imaginary threshold of word count or books completed. Good is honed, and to hone a precision edge you need to scuff up against something that’s stronger than you.

You need to read good writing.

That’s the first thing I tell every aspiring writer who asks me for advice on getting published. And it’s the first thing every writer—no matter where they are in their career—should put at the top of their resolution list. It’s non-negotiable.

Read The New Yorker; read books on the New York Times bestseller list; read critically acclaimed books in your genre; read The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times; read Pulitzer winners and the best books of the year. Just read good writing.

And don’t ever read bad writing.

The process of reading is the process of listening, and developing an ear for fluid prose is how you learn to write fluid prose. Every input you give your brain adds another data point for the rhythms and sounds of written language. Essentially, what you put in is what you get out.

So don’t put bad writing into your brain. Just like eating low-quality food is bad for your health, consuming low-quality writing is bad for your writer’s ear. The clichés, the lazy phrasing, the pompous reaching, the empty fluff will vibrate in your writer’s ear just as much as a perfectly turned sentence. Curate your inputs, and your mind will become attuned to the rhythms of good writing.

Once the sound of good writing is lodged inside you, then you can tackle all the other resolutions that have to come next: sticking to a writing schedule; connecting with readers; networking with other writers; learning how to market your work.

But start with reading. Each and every year.

This post was originally published one year ago, on January 5, 2016.


What I’m Reading

What Writers Know About Paying Attention (Stephanie Smith): I recently stumbled across the Slant Letter newsletter from Stephanie Smith, an editor at Zondervan, and I loved what she had to say this week about reading well: “Every novel, every narrative, every thesis or thinkpiece, all of these churn together like coffee grounds and kitchen scraps in the same compost pile. And slowly, with patient turning and over time, a nutrient-rich soil is created. If your sources are good, your soil will be good, and any seeds that are planted in it will absorb their richness and health. The reverse is also true: if your sources are lacking or anemic, chances are you won’t germinate that brilliant idea you were hoping to hatch.”

The 24 Best Longform Food Stories of 2016 (Eater): Well, look-ee here. Some great writing to read!

The Sixteen Most-Read New Yorker Stories of 2016 (The New Yorker): And some more.

The Most Popular Food News of 2016 (The New York Times): One last serving of good reads. (That Per Se review really was killer.)

A Literary Agent’s Guide to Publishing Terms Authors Should Know (Mark Gottlieb for The Write Life): If you’ve ever wondered what “D&A” means, this is the year to get your publishing jargon down pat.


What We’re Eating

We had good intentions. Good resolutions. Good plans. In fact, my health resolution this year was to cook vegetables in bulk and cram myself right full of them. But then we got home late from the cabin we rented for New Year’s, and our Peapod order was delayed, and we had nothing fresh in the fridge. Here is a true accounting of what happened from there:

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Takeout, wine, friends at our house

Thursday: Finally back on track! A shrimp greek salad. Dinner of the resolution gods.

Friday: White Chicken Chili. I became obsessed with white chicken chili after having a dynamite bowl of it last week at a volunteer event. Luckily, my authors have a few knockout recipes: I’m trying Robyn’s white chicken chili recipe this week and Jenn’s recipe after that. 2017: the year of bathing in white chicken chili.

Cheers!

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printable bookplates for gifts & book donations

I hope you’re surviving these last few crazy days before the holidays. I just finished my Christmas shopping yesterday, and it felt great to get it done.

Except that as soon as I thought I’d finished, I realized I needed to buy one last thing. And then I remembered I also have to wrap that giant stack of packages that’s going to show up on my doorstep tomorrow. And I hate wrapping. Hate it really deep.

I’m not good at it; it takes forever; it never comes out right; it seems like a big waste of paper. (Says the girl who pulps trees into books for a living.)

But you know what’s really, really easy to wrap? Books. They are always rectangular. Let’s just take a moment to reflect on how magical that is. A rectangular item is a glorious reprieve when we’re elbow-deep in tape and trying to figure out how on earth we’re supposed to wrap a burlap bag of Virginia peanuts (tip: make Jarrett do it).

free printable bookplates donate

The other wonderful thing about books is that you can still get them in time for Christmas without having to even leave your house. Yes, right now! Even on the Thursday before Christmas! If you have 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime, you can drop a few books in your cart, check-out, and still get them Saturday morning, in time for some panic-wrapping. Or go for that next-day shipping, if you’re not into the adrenaline-chasing high of leaving things to the absolute last minute.

Photo credit: Chronicle Books
Photo credit: Chronicle Books

Of course, if you can buy a few minutes off today or Friday, you could hop over to your local bookstore and pick out a book for each person on your list. No shipping wait time there! Even better, you’re supporting a local business. Even, even better, they might have little elves at the store who’ll wrap up the books for you. Ahhh, heaven.

In my dream world, I’d have an unlimited budget to buy a giant stack of books, and I’d sprinkle them over everyone I know like fairy dust. A book for you, and a book for you, and a book for you. (I hope you can hear me doing that Oprah thing!)

But of course, people need “practical” things like socks and kitchenware and vacuums and alcohol. Even so, it never hurts to check off someone’s list and then add a little book in there for fun. Books make especially fantastic stocking stuffers, and they’re the perfect little something extra for that person you want to completely delight.

Another life hack? Buy a few extra copies of that one book you know that everyone would love, wrap it up, and have it in your back-pocket for that person or two who got you something unexpectedly. You’ll be giving them the gift of an afternoon spent in one of your favorite worlds, and it’ll give you two lots to talk about next you see each other. What’s better than that?

Here are the books I’ll be gifting this year:

Laurie Colwin Home Cooking book cover       more home cooking laurie colwin book cover

Home Cooking and More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin

For: A friend
Because: She hasn’t read any Laurie Colwin yet! I can’t think of a better treat to give anyone who loves food & writing.

 

how to relax thich nhat hanh book cover

How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh

For: My dad
Because: He needs it—haha!

 

anthony bourdain appetites cookbook book cover

Appetites by Anthony Bourdain

For: A family friend
Because: He loved Bourdain’s first book and mentioned this one in passing.

kindle paperwhite image

Kindle Paperwhite

For: My sister
Because: She misplaced her old Kindle, and no one should have to live without a good e-reader.

 

buck buck moose hank shaw book cover

Buck, Buck Moose by Hank Shaw

For: A family friend
Because: He’s one of the most skilled hunters and cooks we know. Perfect match.

 

john grisham the whistler book cover

The Whistler by John Grisham

For: My mom
Because: Tradition.

As I wrote about here, every year I give my mom the newest John Grisham book, and every year I write a short little inscription inside—usually just the date and a few notes.

Do you add inscriptions to books you give as gifts? If not, you should! It’s a wonderful way to track the history of your library and to turn simple books into cherished family mementos. Usually it’s the notes and scribbles and inscriptions in our books that make them meaningful to us (read the comment thread on this article if you don’t believe me!), and they’re what help us remember the time and place in our lives that was marked by that reading experience.

This year, I finally decided it was time to level up and add more character to my inscriptions, so I created these printable bookplate gift tags to put in all the books I’m gifting.

free printable bookplates donate

free printable book plates donate

I especially love that these bookplates remind me to jot down why I picked a book for a certain person. A book is such a personal gift, and it’s important to take a moment or two to tell someone why you thought this one was just right for them.

Hopefully, each time they page open that book, they’ll think of your friendship and be reminded of how much you love ‘em.

free printable bookplates

Click here to download these free printable bookplate gift tags!

By the way, these would also work fabulously as printable bookplates for donated books if you plan to donate some new or used books to your local library this year. I know many people love to add a little bookplate to donated books, and this one allows you the space to jot down why you love your library and choose to donate to it.

And if you’re still not sure what book to give those last people on your list, try these lists:


What I’m reading this week:

7 Reasons to Give Books This Holiday Season (Chronicle Books blog): In case I didn’t give you enough reasons above, here are a few more!

What Is a Hybrid Publisher? (Jane Friedman): It’s extremely important for aspiring authors to understand that hybrid publishers can vary wildly in their practices. Here’s a good primer on how to evaluate a hybrid publisher.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About How the New York Times Book Review Works (Emily Temple for Literary Hub): A nice little look into how the review process works to land on one of those coveted best-of-the-year lists.

Free Printable Bookish Holiday Cards (Bookish): In case you want a printable book gift card to match your bookplate!

32 of the Most Beautiful Book Covers of 2016 (Buzzfeed Books): So much pretty. Even if these books aren’t the kind of thing you’d normally read, you’ll be impressed by how much can be done within those little rectangles we call book covers.


What we’re eating this week:

Well, between Thanksgiving and my birthday, I am officially in hibernating-bear mode. To try to counteract all those cookies, I planned us a light but hearty week of food, all from the Clean Slate cookbook. Yes, I know that’s the prototypical post-new-year’s cleanse cookbook, but I think that if I’m detoxing for the sole purpose of retoxing over Christmas, I should be forgiven.

Monday: Poached chicken with bok choy in ginger broth. This broth was divine. Make extra and freeze it, and add a fried egg to the soup when serving if you’re a hungry person like me.

Tuesday: Spaghetti with collard greens and lemon. I fell in love with this recipe! It was immediately filed into my mental cabinet of keepers. It’s super simple, requires just a few pantry ingredients, and it has plenty of healthy greens. Win, win, win.

Wednesday: Cook’s day off = Chinese takeout.

Thursday: Red lentil soup with turnip and parsley. Soup can be just as healthy as salad but 1,000,000,000 times better.

Friday: Enough with the healthy already–let’s have some beef stroganoff. This one is from the Comfort Food Makeovers cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. Yes, it’s made-over, but it’s still delightfully rich and old school.

I’ll be off next week to sleep off my hibernation pudge and spend a quiet week with Jarrett, but I hope you and your families have a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year!

Cheers!

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free printable bookplates for donated books

(By the way, I only share books I’ve read or that I’m genuinely excited about sharing with the people I love. Life’s too short to read mediocre books. But if you do feel like picking up one of these books as a gift, it’d be great if you bought them through one of the Amazon Associate links above. It supports the many hours of work this team of two [me and Jarrett] put into this little corner of the web!)