Monday Recommendations: Mother Go, Chia Pudding, First Aid Kit

Audio-book: Mother Go

JPK Mother Go.jpg

Last weekend, I finished listening to Mother Go by James Patrick Kelly. For full disclosure, I should say that Kelly is a friend and one of my teachers from Stonecoast. That said, I don’t recommend books that I don’t love, no matter who wrote them, and a writer with Kelly’s credentials--Locus winner, Nebula winner, Hugo winner (x2)--doesn’t need the help of this humble blogger to market his work. This recommendation is strictly for your benefit, dear reader.

Mother Go is a beautiful, richly imagined coming of age story set in humanity’s space-faring future. Protagonist Mariska Volochkova was born to explore the stars. In fact, she is the clone of a famous “spacer” who’s been genetically modified so that she can hibernate through years-long voyages across the solar system and beyond. The only trouble is, like many great heroes, Mariska resents the force of “destiny” in her life. She wants to be her own woman, not the second edition of her mother.

If you think you don’t like science fiction, this is a book to expand your horizons. You don’t have to be a cosmonaut to appreciate Mariska’s very human struggle to find herself, and Kelly’s sci-fi setting always feels well grounded, even when it’s characters are floating in zero gravity. Another unique feature of this book is that it's only available in audio format (Audible or Amazon) until 2018. Fortunately, the narration by January LaVoy is fantastic. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Recipe: Chia Pudding

I’ve enjoyed chia pudding many times as a ready-to-go snack from my local co-op. The texture reminds me of tapioca, and because it’s made with chia seeds, it’s actually super nutritious: high in protein, fiber, and omega-3s. What I didn’t realize until last week was how easy it is to make. Basically, mix ¼ cup of chia seeds with 1 cup of non-dairy milk in a container with a tight lid, shake it up, and stick it in the fridge for eight hours. I started with a recipe that includes coconut milk (½ cup coconut milk and ½ cup almond milk), which makes it extra rich (i.e. high in fat). But I’ve also made it with just soymilk. Sweeten to taste with your favorite natural sweetener or just throw in some fruit. You can pretty much mix in whatever you want--seeds, nuts, nut butter, dried fruit, frozen fruit, a dash of maple syrup, cardamom, cinnamon. This is a recipe that’s easy to experiment with.

Music: "My Silver Lining" by First Aid Kit

I discovered this song through the magic of Facebook--through a friend of a friend--and though I’ve been a fan of Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit for a while, I’d somehow missed this track until now. If you like it as much as I do, there's more where it came from. Sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg really know how to put a song together. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to get in the car, roll the windows down, and drive across America.