My birthday came and went a few months ago, but I only cashed in my Amazon gift certificate from my Ma & Pa just last week. I hemmed quite a bit about what to purchase; I continue to have a thing for what Peppermint calls "Jesus" books, but now those are sort of work-related and therefore can be purchased from my professional account.
I finally settled on just one book, one that managed to inhabit the thin line between work and pleasure: Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson. It's a novel written in the voice of an aging clergyman. I kept on disregarding it based on the irrational assumption that it would be boring, but I finally gave in to all the raving reviews and the fact that it won the Pulitzer prize.
The second item just arrived today: Destination Unknown, the new Ron Sexsmith/ Don Kerr duet album. The release of this CD totally caught me off-guard. I haven't done a very good job of keeping up with the sweet-faced Mr. Sexsmith, so when I heard his unmistakable croon on KCRW I had to scurry to find out why I didn't recognize the song. I haven't listened to the whole album yet, but so far it's another collection of earnest and mournful love songs with clean, folk-poppy melodies. Which is exactly as I had hoped.
The third and final gift purchase is still on its way: a Toddy Maker cold brew coffee maker. Upon reading about how this thing works, it sounds like the antithesis of a good coffee maker. You brew the coffee in bulk, cold, into a concentrated syrup... and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a month... and add hot water? Ugh. Supposedly the coffee is excellent, though, and the bonus is that it has 67% less acidity than hot-brew coffee. Seeing as how I seem to have ruined our old-fashioned coffee pot in an attempt to clean it (apparently you're not supposed to actually brew the vinegar, as boiling hot vinegar smells vicious and creates gross, saliferous deposits on plastic surfaces), this experiment with alternative brewing methods better succeed.
And thus ends our tour through my Amazon shopping cart. I'll keep you posted on how my considered purchases turn out. Thanks, M & D!