Books and bakes #7: Klara and the Sun and oatmeal cookie bars

The bake

I’ve been craving oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies. On Friday, I decided to do something about that, although it was Friday, which meant I had basically run out of energy for the week. This may make me sound like the laziest baker, but even though drop cookies are one of the simplest things to bake, sometimes I just can’t be bothered to divide the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place them on multiple pans that will require me move them between racks. It’s much easier to put everything in one pan and pop it in and out of the oven in one go. I remembered seeing a recipe for oatmeal cookie bars from Baker by Nature recently, and it seemed like it would satisfy both my craving and my desire to do as little work as possible. The bars turned out chewy and yummy, but I should have just made cookies. That’s what I really wanted: a cookie, not a bar. Even though I don’t have anything bad to say about this recipe, it didn’t satisfy my oatmeal cookie craving.

The book

Taking a chance with my cravings this weekend turned out to be somewhat disappointing, but stepping out of my comfort zone with my reading has been rewarding. It may be hard to believe, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to read Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel, Klara and the Sun. You see, as much as I try not to dismiss entire genres, science fiction and speculative fiction aren’t the types of books I tend to gravitate toward. I’ve read two of Ishiguro’s celebrated novels, The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. While I enjoyed both books, it was the science fiction elements of Never Let Me Go that kept me from loving it. So when I heard that Klara and the Sun was about an “Artificial Friend” named Klara, I wasn’t sure this was a book for me. However, several readers I trust read an advance reading copy and loved it, and I was curious to give it a try. I’m only 50 pages in–too early to give a final verdict–but the character of Klara and her observations of the world have pulled me in. I guess this weekend has shown me that while sometimes taking a chance doesn’t work out the way you hoped, sometimes it can turn out even better than you expected.