Ten Inspirational Norton Juster quotes from The Phantom Tollbooth

In honor of our upcoming May 3rd show inspired by Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, here are ten of our favorite inspirational quotes from the book.



Read more

Bushwick Picks: Molly Wizenberg Edition

Tonight is the night! The Bushwick Book Club Seattle Presents:A Homemade Life is only moments away, but before the show begins we thought we would check in with the author, Molly Wizenberg. (We’re so excited to have her at the show tonight!) She shared with us the books and music she currently has on her list.

“I am the world’s slowest reader, and I only make it through a handful of full-length books a year. But a few months ago, some of us ladies at Delancey started a book club, and it’s been a great way to force myself to speed up a bit. (I can get really bogged down in details, analyzing a writer’s language and style. No fun for anybody.) A couple of months ago, we decided to tackle Madame BovaryI was glad to finally check it off my list, though it made me feel like throwing myself out of a window. But this past month, man oh man, we read a great one: The Fault in Our Stars, by YA author John Green.  It was so good that I haven’t been able to start another book since I finished it. I’m not ready to move on.  I had read Green’s earlier novel Looking for Alaska a number of years ago, and I liked it, but TFIOS really knocked me out.  The characters felt so true, so fully realized, so clever and smart and lovable. They felt like characters in one of those ’80s high school movies starring Molly Ringwald. I had been warned that TFIOS would make me cry, but I doubted that it really would (up until this point, only one book had ever made me cry: Plays Well With Others, by Allan Gurganus), but I wound up crying semi-hysterically for a good half hour or so at the end.  My daughter’s babysitter arrived while I was still mopping up my face, and I scared the crap out of her as I clutched the book and weepily tried to explain myself.  Anyway, all of this to say that I am now a giant John Green fan.  Me, and about a million teenage girls.

I should add that I also read the New Yorker. In general, I tend to gravitate more toward nonfiction than fiction, and The New Yorker is my favorite place to read nonfiction.

And as for listening, well, to be perfectly honest, lately I’ve been revisiting stuff from the early- to mid-90s, like Hole’s Live Through This and all the Fugazi albums I used to listen to in high school. I remember being at a Fugazi show when I was 21 and thinking, I hope I’m never too old to like this, and it makes me very happy to see that I still do, 14 years later. I also dug out Sleater-Kinney’s One Beat the other day – I can’t believe it’s already 12 years old – and Ted Leo’s Shake The Sheets. Ted Leo’s songs are so catchy, and he seems to just keep churning them out.  Very inspiring.”

– Molly Wizenberg

Read more

5 Fantastic Cookbooks You Should Know About

a-homemade-life-bushwick-eventSo you devoured A Homemade Life and loved the prose-filled stylings of Molly Wizenberg’s cookbook/memoir. Here are five other text-heavy cookbooks that you might enjoy.

The Best New Recipe by Cooks Illustrated Magazine

This text-heavy giant is a workhorse in the kitchen. If it was a player on your favorite NFL team, it would be the veteran center. A quiet and stable leader on the field, it knows its job and works hard to protect you, the kitchen quarterback. This book doesn’t include stories for each recipe and is instead laden with the steps the masters in the Cooks Illustrated test kitchen took to insure that these recipes really are the best. I’ve had people tell me that my chocolate chip cookies are “effing delicious.” Here is my secret: follow the recipe in this book exactly as printed.

Read more

Bushwick Picks: What We’re Reading Now

As readers, we cheat on books; the monogamous reader is a rare thing. Most of us have a stack on our nightstand or a queue in our e-reader, and we bounce back and forth. Some books are longer reads, taking months or even years. Other books are one night stands, captivating in the dim hours of night and leading to bitter regret as we wake to a cold, unforgiving alarm clock (and work day) in the morning. So the question is, what are you reading now?

Read more

Bushwick Song of the Week: Monster by Don Hopwood | inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is one of my favorite books of all time. Getting the opportunity to write and perform a song inspired by this book was a lot of fun. I wrote it from the perspective of my favorite character, the monster. A creature created hideous and grotesque on the outside, yet kind and innocent on the inside. The story of how the wretch truly became a monster is a heartbreaking tale. Only through the torturous events and cruel treatment from the “beautiful” people in the world did the aberration become vile and murderous. Rather than focusing on the crimes that the monster committed, my song’s inspiration comes from the crimes it suffered.

Check out the video below. Enjoy!

Read more

Poster Inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life – design by Michael Wallenfels

The poster for our upcoming event – orignal music inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life – Design by Michael Wallenfels.

Make Delicious Banana Bread Tonight

a-homemade-life-bushwick-eventAre you in need of an easy homemade dish to bring to a party or potluck? Do you want to try a uniquely delicious take on a classic quick bread? If so, then Molly Wizenberg has a perfect recipe for you. Her take on banana bread in A Homemade Life is well-written and easy to follow and, as I found as I tested it, very delicious.

A Homemade Life is not your typical cookbook. You won’t find recipes with numbered steps or tons of full color photographs. Instead you’ll find short stories from Wizenberg’s life followed by a recipe relating to that story. These recipes are the heart of the book and are used to connect the readers to the stories. Prose-filled cookbooks are my jam so I’ve been enjoying it immensely. To get the full book experience, I felt I had to try out at least one recipe for myself.

Read more

4 Molly Wizenberg Projects (Other Than Her Books) Everyone Should Know

a-homemade-life-bushwick-eventWhile prepping for the Bushwick show inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life, I became very interested in Wizenberg’s other endeavors. She’s a local Seattle author who put down roots in Ballard. Naturally, I hit the Internet to find out more about her contributions to our community. I’ve collected them for you here.

1. Orangette

This is Wizenberg’s blog that started it all. She launched it in 2004 and from there it grew into the book we’re featuring at the April 26th show. On her site, much like the book, you will find recipes and stories from her life.

Check It Out: orangette.blogspot.com

2. Delancey

The Ballard restaurant she opened with her husband offers a variety of New Jersey style wood-fired pizza. They now also own Essex the bar next door.  Her next book which is named after the restaurant and details its opening and how it affected her life and her marriage.

Read more