Spicy Sheet Pan Chicken, The Ensemble, and Making Music
I'm just going to cut straight to the chase today: the book I'm writing about, The Ensemble, practically made me sing. The author, Aja Gabel, was able to blend four different characters and timelines together to make the most beautiful, touching, poignant story I've read in a while, and I loved it. I read fast, I fell hard, and I want to go back and read it again. And the cover is so breathtaking, I was getting stares on the train (for the right reason, not my socks being different colors). And it hasn't even come out yet. Riverhead Books knocked this one out of the park, starting with step one: getting it published.
One of the reasons I liked this book so much was the way it blended different story lines and different feels. Sure, there was the music aspect, but there were also close studies of relationships both within and outside of the quartet, love stories, and even some millennial ennui, to use a phrase that I saw on my friend Brian's Instagram story (thanks, Brian!). The Ensemble comes out on May 15, and you can find more details about it here. Thanks to the ever-lovely Jennifer for sending it to me to read, along with the most beautiful CS Lewis card I've ever seen. PS, if you like astounding poetry, please check out her stuff.
In other news, I again cooked something way too spicy for me to manage eating: spicy sheet pan chicken. According to my professional taste-tester, it was "really good" and "the potatoes are kind of french fry-y" so I was happy. Also, have you ever had garlicky yogurt with dill? I want to put it on everything I eat now. Best part of the dish. No, wait. I lied. The best part of this dinner was only having one dish to wash. The sauce was second.