"This strange and gentle sea, reed-fringed and resting in a granite cradle still rocking in the aftermath of ice, dotted with islands and bounded with stony coasts, fed by melted snow and rainwater, almost closed behind the jut of the peninsula, yet appears almost lacustrine, an outbreak of water arrested at the edge of the ocean, frozen in the moment of joining . . ."The Pride of the Pleistocene
--Lawrence Norfolk, The Pope's Rhinoceros
It is into this antediluvian world, on the shores of what will one day be called the Baltic Sea, I have set down the time machine that I had borrowed from President Obama. I have befriended a Cro-Magnon tribe led by their chieftain Uggh! and we are talking about the relative merits of diet books:
Uggh!: Uggh! must lose winter fat. Me want many wives when snow go away! Me must fit in cavebear skins. (He looks at my selection of diet books.) Hmm, The 17 Day Diet (9781451648652) 25.00 by Mike Moreno take too long. (Tosses it in the fire.) Uh, Dukan Diet (9780307887962) 26.00 by Pierre Dukan for snow princess. Me no snow princess. (Tosses it too.) Uggh! Uggh! The Paleo Diet (9780470913024) 14.95 by Loren Cordain sound too good. (Uggh! starts ripping pages out and then holds up the page with the Paleo Diet FlowchartTM on it.) Read me!
Me: Well, it says here that if it has a face that you can eat it.
(Uggh! thinks this is a good time to share his own Paleo Diet recipe.)
Mastodon and Morel Soup
80 lbs of mastodon meat
20 gallons of sabre-tooth tiger blood
4 bushels of morel mushrooms
1 mastodon stomach
Boil sabre-tooth blood until it is bubbling regularly. Find a giant pointy stick and use it to tenderize the meat. Then tie the mastodon meat to the pointy stick with sinews. Cook for 1/2 an hour. Pour the blood, meat, and morels into the mastodon stomach. Cook over fire for 1/2 hour. Cut open stomach and serve.
Me: So you like morels. I have here in my pack a new book called Morel Mushrooms (9781933272313) 13.95 by Michael Phillips and it has all kinds of recipes for morels. (I hand him the book. The full colour photos look so enticing that he starts ripping out the pages and eating them.) That's a good book, eh?
Uggh!: Mmmmm, delicious . . .
Odds & Sods
You may not know this, but my wife is due with our first baby. We'd been having a hard time finding a name, but then I saw that there's a new title called The Snow Child (9780316175678) 24.99 by Eowyn Ivey. Hmm, Eowyn. (Her mother was a Lord of the Rings fan.) I kind of like that one. And my wife says it's better than R2D2 Dolinski. Oh, and the book is getting a lot of buzz, too . . .
Also, Jay from Troy is really high on Andy Andrews' How Do You Kill 11 Million People? (9780849948350) 14.99 and we have it back in stock. It's a polemic on how we can make America great again, no matter what your party affiliation is . . .