78 Comments
Oct 10, 2022Liked by Anne Kadet

What another wonderful read. This is our Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and I absolutely give thanks that I have found your delightful column. All the best.

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Thank you Tara! And happy Thanksgiving!

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founding
Oct 10, 2022Liked by Anne Kadet

Best issue yet! 1. No matter what he does or doesn't do, Eric Adams is TOPS for saying, "Kansas doesn’t have a brand!," and upsetting the anti-science "rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers" (quote from the movie, A Face In The Crowd") of the Great Altered-Mental-State of Kansas! 2. The tonic for the Rubber Plant is staring us in the face: Vick's Nyquil! 3. Amazon and Barnes & Noble should be shaking in their boots because Ms. Altshuler has the next big thing with "Sweet Pickle Books!" What a great dialogue combining great books with the appropriate pickle-pairing! The back and forth with Anne is worthy of college credit! “We have a ‘Don’t Be An Asshole’ policy,’” she said. No worries, most assholes don't read books.

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JRB!!!!

Wow it never occurred to me to offer NyQuil to the houseplants as a tonic, but I do have half a bottle left, and a number of houseplants that are having a rough time. Maybe this is the start of a new CAFÉ ANNE serial?

You may be right about the book/not-an-a-hole correlation. I think ALL my close friends, both young and old, are book readers. Or at least they like to think they are, haha. My last boyfriend SAID he was a book reader and it turned out he wasn't really, AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED.

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This line of reasoning can be extended. If you find a person who doesn't like pickles of any sort, perhaps they must be an a-hole and do not read books. I am going to start peeking at shopping carts at CostCo and see if the people buying discount books are also buying pickles in jars large enough to store ten years worth of change..

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LOL

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founding

“Realizing that many you once thought the world of are nothing but glorified assholes means you've grown up. ”

― Crystal Woods

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Loved the pickle bookstore. How novel! (See what I did there?)

And yes, there’s always a second chance for books. I hated reading Jack Kerouac in high school, but on a particularly difficult day in the middle of the pandemic I picked up Dharma Bums again. This time around, older and (hopefully) a little wiser, I really enjoyed it. So yeah, when I put a book down because it’s not clicking for me, it’s more of a see you later than a true goodbye.

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I got through "War and Peace" after the fourth attempt (and finally getting a decent translation). Have given Moby Dick several attempts as well but I think that's a lost cause. Ulysses even more so. Proust even more more so.

So here's another question: when to give up on trying again?

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I’ve quit on War and Peace three times. I was supposed to read Ulysses, but I don’t think I did. Never attempted Proust. But I never say never with books. Or, rather I stopped saying never because can always pick it up later. But what I’ve tried to do is stop thinking that I *have to* read a particular book.

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Oct 10, 2022Liked by Anne Kadet

I love these weekly bits of light & shine. Thank you!

Now, would you travel west & write an Oregon version? We've got characters and quirk, too!

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I think what makes NYC special is the density of quirk and characters. But maybe Oregon is a rival? Someone should make a special map with color zones so we know where to go.

Thanks for your kind words Drew!

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Also…. Really don’t finish a book that isn't keeping you engaged and feels like work! It took me literally YEARS to give myself permission to just not finish a book.

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Pamela I KNOW you are right. And typically I set a 50-page limit. But with "I, Claudius" I was at 113 pages and still on the fence. So torturous. I think this happened because it was recommended by someone I really admire. I won't fall for that trick again!

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A fun return to regular programming. The Mayor is so desperate as a "notice me" guy it is funny AND absurd AND needy. I LOVE the responsible nature of the woman from Sri Lanka who salvaged the rubber tree plant. Yeah almost 70% of the mob wants to hack the plant. She recognizes she ended up with this plant on its deathbed and deserves a measure of space to decide what to do next. A hormone enhanced rubber plant SOUNDS exciting! I now finally realize why I don't have to read every genre. I don't eat bread and butter or sweet pickles of any sort. Dill, half-sour and spicy only. Probably means there are lots of books I am simply not destined to try. Lastly, only in a bookstore. The owner is peddling pickles and CHOOSES TO LABEL them "DILLED PICKLES". Swimming against the current, I love it. I just finished a podcast recommended by a friend tryiing to go backward to latin-rooted words and get folks to consider saying data and datum. Just like dilled pickles. Doesn't matter what is right, the train has left the station!

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I noticed the use of "dilled" as well and from short time I spent with Ms. Altshuler I am sure it was a very deliberate choice and an admirable one.

Also, Mr. Dolan, it never occurred to me to reverse engineer the thing and determine what books I might like based on my pickle preferences. My faves are pickled carrots (!!!) and cauliflower. Pickled onions are great when they go on top of things. Perhaps this explains my love of Edith Wharton.

Also (semi-spoiler alert) there is big news coming next issue re: rubber plant BUT DON'T TELL ANYONE.

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BTW you LOST me with Edith Wharton :( -- I will continue to hide your secret in plain sight...

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The relationship between pickles and books, if shown to be true, would sour me on the whole affair. I eat all sorts of pickled things also. Pickled asparagus is overrrated. The onions, especially as offered with shawarma is the BEST. I love sauerkraut and can remember back to my dad and a friend making it in the basement. I think just an excuse to spend an afternoon together. The industrial tool for shredding cabbage was far and away the most dangerous thing in our basement, akin to a mandoline the size of a washboard. Weird what you remember.

Whatever happens to the rubber plant, I am confident your readers will remain flexible. Okay, two pun limit reached.

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Oct 10, 2022Liked by Anne Kadet

So much fun reading, education and life. Thanks for the smarts and the funnies.

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Oh wow your description made my day. Thank you Abigail! :))))

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I reeeeeaaallllly want to visit Sweet Pickle Books, but I'm kind of far away... 😥

I was not down with The Kite Runner either, though many people thought it was "so great". I just thought the writing was pretty unremarkable. It did not impress.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, however, is one of my all-time favourite books. Now there's a guy who can write!

You misspelled Stephen King! FYI

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Will fix that, thank you!

I JUST read Kite Runner a month ago and I can't even REMEMBER why I only gave it two stars on Goodreads. So it must have been pretty bad. I am thinking it was maybe dumb-ass, but not in a fun/good way?

Sweet Pickle Books should be chain but then also it would be ruined. I think its one of those deals where the store IS Ms. Altshuler and Ms. Altshuler IS the store.

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"I am thinking it was maybe dumb-ass, but not in a fun/good way?" 😂😂😂 I read it a number of years ago so I don't really remember either, except that I do remember thinking that the story was compelling but the writing was "nothing to write home about"

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay really was a good book. Haven't read it in ages but I remember enjoying in thoroughly. Never got around to the Kite Runner and you all are scaring me off!

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All the best people are thumbs down on Kite Runner! You can join us!

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You *should* be scared... very scared... 😅

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I am definitely going to check out Sweet Pickle Books next time I head down to the Tenement Museum.

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Oh man, that would be a GREAT day!!!

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Right??

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From this day forth, whenever someone asks me a question I don't like, I will respond, "I AM the Intelligence Bureau."

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Right? It's better than "I AM Ironman." It's better than everything!!!

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Oct 10, 2022Liked by Anne Kadet

Great quote!!

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The BBC adaptation of "I, Claudius" (1976) is very good and had some famous or futurely-famous actors, including Patrick Stewart as Sejanus and John Hurt as Caligula. I watched it when I was a kid so I didn't know who anyone was.

The BBC version of "Cousin Bette" (1971) was also excellent, with futurely-famous Helen Mirren as Valérie. I liked it so much I read the book, discovering that the TV series was a very loose adaptation (better than Balzac, I think).

Everyone in Afghanistan hates "The Kite Runner".

There was a fourth thing I was going to say but I forget what it was. Probably something snarky about Eric Adams.

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Interesting about the movie. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking it felt like Balzac sort of wrote it intending for it to optioned for million$ and adopted for the big screen. But of course he wrote it 100 years before there were movies.

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I remembered the fourth thing! What the fuck is a bread and butter pickle?

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Ah, I am glad you asked. A bread-and-butter pickle is the WORST pickle. They are the small round, crinkle-cut kind. They are typically EXCESSIVELY sweet. You would not want to snack on them while reading. But a few are sometimes good on top of a hamburger.

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That kind of pickle is the reason I never ate pickles before I visited Georgia (the country). I have hated them for as long as I've hated Coca-Cola, which is as long as I've been alive. I didn't realize they were sweet which I think means I only ate one.

Two things I learned in Georgia are that pickles and mayonnaise-based salads are not just disgusting supermarket deli foods, but awesome if done right. When I visited Albania a few years later I was mentally prepared to discover that pickled green tomatoes are especially awesome.

Instead of a lame pickle and a lame tomato, why can't McDonald's give you TWO pickled green tomatoes?

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Why does everyone in Afghanistan hate "The Kite Runner"?

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I haven't read it so I don't necessarily endorse any of the criticism. But many people didn't care for the way it depicts aspects of Afghan society, especially child sexual abuse. And some Pashtuns thought it was anti-Pashtun, although to be fair you probably can't write a novel about Afghanistan without upsetting at least one ethnic group.

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I see. Thanks for the explanation.

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It sort of looks like Adams is EATING the child’s finger 😂😂

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I would love a post about the garment district! Maybe the stores, the designers that frequent the shops there, the shoe cobblers. I used to frequent there when I lived by the city and it was my favorite place. The inspiration there is amazing! So many dreamers and so much creativity! I took my first trip to MOOD (the fabric store on Project Runway) when I was 13 and made trips every year since then. It holds a special place in my heart as a young sewer who loves fashion! - Madison

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Thanks for the idea! I just launched a new series, "The Neighborhood Speaks" where I profile specific NYC neighborhoods. I will add this to the list!

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So happy to see Eric Adams Watch back--I laughed out loud at every single one of his comments! Also, hard agree with Ms. Altshuler about giving up on books you don’t like. There are too many amazing books to read, so why waste time on one that doesn’t resonate with you?

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I'm always afraid Mayor Adams will bow to the criticism and start reining himself in, but he never does!

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Oct 11, 2022Liked by Anne Kadet

this makes me crave pickles so bad!! i always have to have a jar on hand, nothing like that sour dill flavor to finish a meal imo. great concept for a bookstore

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I'm starting to think its hard to imagine of a concept that wouldn't be a great bookstore. Maybe every store should also be a bookstore!

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So much to enjoy in this read but my favorite thing of all was the wall of photos that have been slipped inside books and forgotten. I use photos as book marks all the time, but I would be so sad to lose them - so note to self to stop that practice. OTOH I think Lost Photo, Former Bookmark should be a newsletter or something like missed connections 🤔 😊

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Oct 11, 2022Liked by Anne Kadet

I also loved the part about the photos - and that's a great suggestion for a newsletter.

Anne, did you happen to ask Ms. Altshuler whether visitors sometimes recognise people in the photos? Did any of the pictures get returned to their owners?

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I will ask her about that!

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I love the photo wall too, ZM! And agree that would be a wonderful newsletter. I also love the handwritten notes and underlining you sometimes find in used books. It's especially funny when the reader is arguing with the author!

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