Liquor: Homemade peach & cherry brandy
Book: The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg
Notes: I’ve always wanted to make my own brandy. Now I have, sorta. I’ll let this ferment until February 2014, and then we’ll see if it’s drinkable. I’ve also always wanted to read Ginzburg, one of the luminaries of post-WWII Italian literature; Primo Levi and Italo Calvino are among my favorite writers, and she’s periodically lumped in with them. And with grand reason. Vivid, funny, wry, understated, and clearheaded (except when she’s being willfully vague, which is often), Ginzburg takes memoir to a new level, simply by quietly acknowledging that memories are suspect and that some things get better said by being left unsaid. These essays make me smile and sob, sometimes in the same paragraph.