The Broken Teaglass vs. Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

Taking some time off for the holidays here…. I’ve been on a mystery bender and I thought I’d post some pithy comments about The Broken Teaglass, Emily Arsenault’s debut novel.  And maybe something about Julia Spencer-Fleming and how I’m finally caught up on the Clare/Russ saga and am eagerly awaiting the next episode, due this spring.

vegan-cookiesBut, no.  Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, my newest acquisition, beckoned instead this morning, and the only mystery was this:  Do I start with the Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles or the Chocolate Chip Chai Spice Shortbread?
I started with the Shortbread, and since the dough was too soft to cut without chilling first, I stuck it in the refrigerator and here I am at my keyboard.  I think the shortbread will be yummy, but I may need to add some more spices to the dough to make it really sizzle.   Either my cardamon is too old or my palate is on overdrive.  At any rate, this is an awesome cookbook, the authors are funny and have a great perspective on food, and I am psyched about all the yummy things I’m getting ready to bake for Christmas presents.  (Can you say Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti??)

broken_teaglass_smDid you ever wonder how dictionary publishers come up with their definitions?   At the Samuelson Company, where The Broken Teaglass takes place, editors keep extensive citation files for individual words, with examples of where and how the words are actually used.  And then they come up with definitions based on these citations. Lexicography is pretty heady stuff.   I had no idea.
Teaglass tells a story-within-a-story, with clues to a decades-old murder hidden as bogus citations in the files.  I want to root for first novels, and I did like this one quite a bit, intellectually.   It’s interesting and clever, in a Joy of Words kind of way.  But I need to fall in love with at least one character in a novel, even if it’s not the character you’re supposed to love, and I didn’t really care that much about any of them by the end of the book.

So I’m going back to cookies now.

9 comments to The Broken Teaglass vs. Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

  • Cranberry White Chocolate Biscotti!!!! Yummy!

    It’s funny you should post this. Yesterday I was on researching titles with the word Embrace and found an interesting book called “Embraces: Webster’s Quotations, Facts and Phrases” it’s an entire book dedicated to the word Embrace including literary quotes, facts and alternative meanings about the word. There are several books like this for different words, such as, knowledge, petty, anatomy, intellects, courage, whirling and cows–of all things. I thought it interesting that they compiled this information into a book.

  • Yummy! That cookbooks sounds delish. As one who tries to eat healthy (tries, being the operative word), I am intersted in some of the recipes you mentioned and how they are made. I might look into this!

  • Nancy

    I was appalled after reading the Broken Teaglass that I’d thought so little about how dictionary definitions are developed, especially since I love words so much. It was definitely a worthwhile read. My first post-college job was as an editorial assistant in a big New England publisher — and the protagonist in Teaglass is an editorial assistant in a big New England publisher. So it was fun to see some small similarities, though we never had any murders, as far as I know, at HMCo.

  • Nancy

    I will let you all know how the shortbread turns out once I actually bake it. Many of these recipes are crammed with yummy stuff like lots of sugar, oil, and margarine and I would hesitate to call them healthy — just delicious. I do have a ton of healthy recipes as well, but for holidays it’s fun to let loose.

    Also, a couple of the recipes from the cookbook are online. Click on the Vegan Cookies link in my original post and you should be able to find them.

  • This post was so fun, from the baking of cookies to the lexicography. I want to write like you when I grow up.
    I’m saving the Vegan link also – THANKS!

  • Nancy


    ah, shucks, DS, thanks! But I think DS writing like DS is exactly the right way to write….

  • Good luck with your interesting cookies. Can I come to your house to sample them when they’re fresh out of the oven?

  • Nancy

    Absolutely! Then we’ll go walk on the beach for a bit before heading over to NorthPointe to work the cookies off!

  • […] in December, I wrote about getting a new cookbook, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I said I would let you know […]

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