Taking Emily Freeman’s lead to share a handful of things I learned this month, from the (occasionally) significant to the (mostly) shallow.
WHAT A MONTH. September is always a wild ride, but this September more than most—and I think I’ve asked my poor brain to stretch itself correspondingly more than most months. This is far from comprehensive, and not just because I left off the new questions I didn’t have answers for yet!
1. The New Orleans restaurant scene is BOOMING.
The city had 809 restaurants pre-Katrina, and now has a staggering 1541 (although that statistic, being two weeks old at this point, is probably already outdated!). I was there earlier this month for Read New Orleans, and it seemed every NOLA resident I bumped into quoted this exact statistic to me. I could only make it to four while I was there, so I have to go back, obviously.
2. Who put the “air” in airbnb.
I first heard of airbnb forever ago, but then Will asked if I knew where the “air” came from, and I realized I had no idea. Would you believe it’s from “air mattress”? Back in 2007, designers descended on San Francisco to attend a conference, but all the hotels were sold out. Two roommates saw an opportunity, rented out rooms in their apartment to conference guests, and provided them with air mattresses to sleep on. Who knew?
3. How some readers are getting the kindle version of Reading People for $2.99.
The short answer: the Kindle Matchbook program. Not every book qualifies, but thousands do, and Reading People is one of them. When you buy the print edition first, you can buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less.
If you DO want the print edition, consider visiting a local bookstore to get your copy? (If you’re in St Louis or Louisville, there are signed copies right now at The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves and the Barnes and Noble at The Paddock Shops.)
Related: some readers are asking how to get the beautiful edition with the pretty gold spine, because all they can find online is the paperback. (If you’re seeing the book in person, it’s obvious you’ve found what you’re looking for.) Readers, have no fear: the paperback really is that pretty.
4. When it comes to household management, I have no sense of time.
Two cases in point: Will took our favorite, much-used chef’s knife to the local cutlery place for sharpening while I was out of town earlier this month (bless him). We were sure we’d taken it in this past winter, but their records showed they hadn’t sharpened it in two and a half years. (That explains a lot.)
Our nonstick skillet has been cranky lately, because nonstick skillets don’t last. I thought we’d last replaced it about a year ago (which seemed reasonable for a family of six who uses it multiple times a day), but when I went to reorder, I saw we’d been using ours since 2014. (That also explains a lot.)
Psst—we are devotees of this T-Fal model, which we found through Cooks Illustrated, and we love it.
5. Tea is cuter than coffee.
I’m a coffee girl, although we are entering the time of year when I’ll resume daily tea drinking for the first time since the chilly days of spring. But when it comes to adorable presentation, tea beats coffee by a mile. Photographic evidence above.
6. Sooo much about the publishing industry.
Between the New Orleans bookseller event and releasing my own book on September 19, I’ve learned SO MUCH, and I’m sure I won’t be able to stop myself from dropping tidbits in the months to come. But I did collect some of my biggest lessons in a special episode of What Should I Read Next. Listen to episode 97 wherever you get your podcasts, or right here on Modern Mrs Darcy.
7. Ryan Gosling was in Remember the Titans.
It’s football season, which means everybody around here starts hankering to watch classic football movies again. I haven’t seen this one in years, and this time one of the characters looked familiar but I couldn’t quite place him.
You guys, it was Ryan Gosling. And even more surprising—the Canadian actor was in a single episode of Road to Avonlea, based on the works of L. M. Montgomery, a series I watched again and again and again as a child.
8. The most popular reading personality is …
ESCAPIST. Because we discussed reading personalities at our live Novel Neighbor event this week, I dove into the records on our reading personality quiz that we released this summer. More than 20,000 people have taken the quiz, and I can see how many people sorted themselves into each personality type. The escapists, who believe reading should be FUN above all else, won by a mile. The explorers (that’s my type) were runner-ups.
If you haven’t yet, click here to take the quiz and discover your reading personality.
9. People really, really love Parks and Rec.
In last month’s What I Learned, I mentioned that Will and I were watching Park and Rec, and you all lost your minds. There are usually 20 or less comments on a What I Learned post but there are 87(!!) on last month’s, they’re almost all about Parks and Rec, and they all say WATCH IT! (We are, but slowly—we’re in late season 2 but are still waiting for Rob Lowe to show up …)
What did YOU learn in September?