Friday, April 10th, 2015. It is the 100th day of the year. This morning I woke up at 4:19 am. It is (probably) the 12th (or so) day I’ve been awake at this time this year. I am elated, I love the word, “elated” about today’s Get Series(ous). post. According to the front page of The New York Times, the temperature today will be 64F (and raining-again, shit.) I’m pretty much going to trust this prognostication even though forecasts are notoriously off-base.
Some books, and some series just hit me so hard, I find it difficult to elucidate my feelings about said books and series in a succinct manner. There aren’t as many of these as you’d think, given that my reading habit amounts to about one book per day.
(In the interest of clarity and transparency, many of these books are for work/school or research for scripts/auditions.)
However, when I do find a book that fits into this most-exclusive category in my “Books I’ve Put In My Brain” Spreadsheet, I want to wrap each of them in bubble wrap and a collection of my feels to hug them forever and ever. (Yes, this is a real thing I have. Yes, I DO rate my books on an algorithm of likelihood of a re-read. Shut it. You know you’re jealous.)
This week’s Get Series(ous). series definitely fits into that category. It’s highlighted GREEN in my Excel spreadsheet which tells me that it has a 100% chance of being re-read MORE THAN ONCE. As I’ve already read/listened to the first two books in the series three times each, I think it needs a new color. Like mochachino or parsley sprig.
Who should read this series?
ANYONE WITH A SOUL WHO CARES ABOUT LOVE AND LIFE. Ok, that might seem a bit extreme–and broad.
This reader is a fan of the underdog, the underserved populations, the under-appreciated. This reader loves a book with superstar heroes in unassuming miens. This reader may love Hero by Perry Moore, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving–Rocky.
All of these share one thing, one specific trait that makes them all wonderfully readable/watchable–hope. All of these books and main characters inspire immense amounts of hope in the reader.
Also, this reader isn’t afraid to laugh at seemingly upsetting circumstances. They understand the catharsis that is making light of a rough situation. This reader craves real emotion in their books, however subtle, knowing that sometimes, subtle is the most gut-wrenching.
What is this series?
A thirty-nine-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.).
But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.
Why I love it.
Right off the bat, let me again, in the interest of full-disclosure, tell you a little about my family. My nephew, a beautiful and sweet 16 year old boy, has Autism. Specifically, PDD-NOS. My son, aka The Captain, aka My WORLD, my handsomest handsome child with a heart of pure sugar, has Sensory Processing Disorder with a joint Dx of ADHD, and Social Anxiety Disorder.
So you can see why a series revolving around a grown man who learns to live in a world that seems out of his world might interest me.
But that’s 100% not all of it. That’s not even 20% of it. The Edward series (I’m including The Fallow Season of Hugo Hunter) is so beautifully written. It is so sharp and precise, it is as though it were fashioned in relief with an exact-o knife, or imported directly into my mind with a supernatural 3D printer.
It’s so funny. Heartbreakingly so. However, you never feel as though you’re laughing AT the MC, which would turn me off immediately. It’s almost as though you’re laughing at the disorder, as strange as that sounds. Asperger’s takes any verbal or mental filter someone may have, and stretches the hole reallllly wide. Therefore, Edward has a tendency to communicate things that we only really hear in our own minds. That is actually really refreshing.
If you never asked yourself this ONCE while dating, you’re a fucking liarvillepants.
Throughout every facet of these stories, you never lose sight of what is important to each of the characters. This becomes especially important in Edward Adrift and The Fallow Season of Hugo Hunter. But oh man, do you ever get lost in the story. The first two books almost feel epistolary in nature, and this only serves to add to the interest of it all. The reader eventually begins to feel as though they are a part of the data which Edward so carefully collects.
As I mentioned above, I read/listened to this series. I am, by default, a very results-oriented person, and the ability to maintain the narrative whilst I go about the quotidian tasks of daily life appeals to me on a very basely “me” level.
This can be good or bad. If the narrator is great, well then! Hey hey hey! BONUS! Excellent. If the reader is crap??? Yeah. Not so much.
they’ve been featured on B2B enough that they should have their own graphic or .gif.
The internet is a beautiful thing…
Luke Daniels’s performance as Edward and company is oddly relaxing. Weird, right? His placentious intonations and utter grip on the motive of the character absolutely lulls the reader into a total blissed-out book zone.
Without giving away any spoilers, in the first book of the series, Edward experiences a very deep loss. Life-changing. Craig Lancaster’s words, performed by Luke Daniels, had me in a shock of terrifically embarrassing sobs in the back of a cab. The driver thought I’d lost it. His pack of tissues smelled like black and milds.
And before you ask, Yes…
will get his own Auralgasm post, but not until I figure out what else to say…If you have any ideas, EMAIL ME! Because, if you have your own completely awful and obnoxious .gif….
The Recipe Inspired by the Series:
In the first book, Edward eats spaghetti (albeit crappy spaghetti) 9 times a week. Yup.
It was a no-brainer.
Perfect Fresh Tomato Sauce and Homemade Meatballs.
Perfect Fresh Tomato Sauce and Homemade Meatballs
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake entree snack side
Ingredients (depends on how big your balls are)
for the sauce
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 roma tomatoes, ripe
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1, 15.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1, 15.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 4 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
for the meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef 90/10
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp evoo
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp chopped fresh garlic
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
before you make the sauce, make the balls.
Preheat oven to 400F
combine all ball ingredients in a big bowl
mix with your hands
roll into balls of your preferred size, I did 2″ in diameter.
place on a cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray
at 2″ in diameter they take about 20-25 minutes in the oven.
to make the sauce
dice the fresh tomatoes into 1/2″ cubes
dice the onion into 1/4″ dice
in a skillet, pour in the olive oil and heat to medium high,
before it begins to smoke, add the onion and turn to medium
saute until translucent.
stir in remaining ingredients and let cook for about 15-20 minutes
I suggest using a pasta like the riccioli pictured above, or something like a curly tagliatelle, or papardelle pasta.
Toss all of the sauce with one pound cooked pasta and the meatballs
I like to top this all with fresh mozz and slide it back into the oven until the mozz is all yummy melted like.
also good with parmesan cheese or asiago.