Friends — Sorry for my long and unintentional break from this newsletter! I’m working hard on three different projects right now — two of those I can’t tell you about yet, but one is doing the very final edits to While We Were Dating, which comes out in July! This book is very special to me and I’m so excited for you all to get to read it soon! — and I barely ever even know what day it is, and when I do remember, I keep thinking “oh, I should write my newsletter! I have so many things to tell everyone!” but then my wrists start yelling at me at the idea of typing more things, and so I put it off for another week, and then so it goes. I’m sorry, that was a very long sentence, I’m out of practice.
In the time since I’ve last written this newsletter: I was on The Today Show again with the delightful Isaac Fitzgerald, where we gave you eight great books to read this spring (fun fact: when we do these at home Today appearances, there’s always a moment shortly before we go on when Isaac and I are both “backstage” on video with a producer, and we catch sight of each other for the first time on screen, and start saying hi and waving maniacally, but we can’t yet hear each other, so only the producer is hearing us say “Hiiiiii Isaac! Hi Jasmine!!!”); I got to be a part of this piece for Time, where I talked about the book series that helped get me through a year of the pandemic; Meghan and Harry had a big interview with Oprah, which I meant to talk about at length here, but see above (in short: I feel so so bad for Meghan, I’m so glad it seems like they’re doing well now, it must have been William); and I was a Jeopardy clue, which I had absolutely no idea was going to happen and I still can’t believe actually happened (I found out about this because one of my best friends texted me, I genuinely would have thought it was a hoax if it had been almost anyone else).
I’ve been sad and heartbroken for the past week about the shooting in Atlanta last week. A few things I’ve read about it that have really affected me: R.O. Kwon’s A Letter to My Fellow Asian Women Whose Hearts Are Still Breaking; Nicole Chung’s piece for Time about what her white adoptive parents would have thought and her advice column for Slate about how to talk to Asian American kids about violence toward their communities; this piece by Heidi Shin about talking to children about anti-Asian bias; and this piece in the LA Times about Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II, which isn’t directly related to the shootings, but it shows how long all of this has been going on, and how little people have learned in the past eighty years.
Do you want some joyful book recs??? If you didn’t click through to watch the Today hit, my book recommendations were: Honey Girl, which I know I’ve told you all about here, but it bears repeating, because it’s just lovely; Already Toast, a fantastic and super absorbing memoir about a woman’s experience as a caregiver for her husband when he’s suddenly diagnosed with a very severe form of cancer (he survives! I like to tell people that up front!); Once Upon a Quinceañera, a fun and meaty young adult novel about family and forgiveness and falling in love; and Laxmi’s Mooch, an adorable, charming, body positive picture book. I really loved all of these very different books, and I think a lot of you will too.
I don’t have a new recipe for you this week (again, see above about how much I’ve been working, I have been very uncreative in the kitchen). But I want to make this chocolate cake — which I called my favorite chocolate cake in the subject line to that old newsletter, and that title holds up — soon, because I made a few weeks ago for some family and desperately want to make it again because it was so good. This time, instead of making the ganache that goes with the recipe, I made a pretty simple vanilla-y buttercream frosting and I may have liked it even better — the contrast with the buttercream made the chocolate cake even more chocolate-y. (Also looking at that old newsletter made me so wistful, I miss in person book events SO much. I hope they come back.)
I hope you all get some peace and sunshine this weekend. And Happy Passover to all of those celebrating!