Every week, a top writer, artist or creator reveals how they’d fill their perfect Sunday, sharing their favourite comfort reads, movies, food… anything that would make their weekend great.
Today, celebrating the paperback release of Cataclysm, it’s the turn of my fellow Star Wars: The High Republic author Lydia Kang.
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… brunch
I love a classic eggs and bacon breakfast with toast, butter, jam, and hot coffee. I keep trying to be vegetarian but my inner carnivore gets loose and it's a problem. When I went to London for Celebration, I made sure to get myself a Full English and it didn't disappoint. So the first thing I did when I got home was go to Chippy's, our local UK food store, buy the ingredients, and remake it all over again. I get really fixated on certain foods and cuisines and then go bananas making it myself.
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… read
Reading with my dogs nearby is something I try to make time for. I probably read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte every year or so. It's a comfort book for me. I love her steadfast survivalism and her steely self-respect. I never get tired of the happy ending. There are two other comfort books that I have read and reread so many times are short story collections. One is Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto. Talk about sense of place intertwined with emotion. It delights me to this day. The other is Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Being from an immigrant family, a lot strikes home for me in this book. Also--to be clear--each of these has really prominent scenes that include food. I love a book with food scenes. As much as I love a movie surrounding food. See below!
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… comic
My favorite all time comics are probably Gary Larsen's The Far Side. What a wacky, bizarre, funny, nerdy cartoon. It was often so biology based, and I'm a super biology (it was my major in college), so it was insightful and smart and quite bizarre in the best possible way. They never get old for me.
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… movie
Anything with food in it. I'll pick a few because there are so many. So Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, or Julie and Julia, or Babette's Feast. Yeah, I'm very food centric. I love cooking, I love baking, I love eating. I adore stories with food at the center, and I love how food is such an essential part of memory, love, and culture. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman is Taiwanese, which is where my husband's family is from, so it's a bit of look inside the family dynamics of a Taiwanese family. The dad looks like my father in law! Julie and Julia is so much fun because it's about a woman trying to become a writer, and her hopes of having a book deal. Which hits quite close to home. I have made Julie's bruschetta about a dozen times. But Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are such a funny Mr and Mrs Julia Child that it's hard not to fall in love with them. And the food is amazing. You can practically smell the butter in the sole meuniere! And finally Babette's Feast. It is my dream to have that feast prepared for me. I'm a good cook but even I have my limits with that cailles en sarcophages (quail stuffed with truffles in puff pastry.)
I'm getting hungry now.
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… TV binge
Catching up on the latest streaming Star Wars show! I'm usually several weeks behind, so my partner and I will binge watch them and then immediately watch/read the reviews after that explain all the little Easter eggs. The last one was Ahsoka. I had been really late to watching Rebels, so I had to watch all of Rebels first, which took months and months of lots of Sunday watching. Delightful. I have a huge crush on Kanan Jarrus and got really quite attached to the entire team. So seeing the characters in the flesh on screen was incredible. I'm just kind of pissed that there was no Zeb! Why didn't they include Zeb?
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… podcast
I'm a huge fan of Radiolab. They do such a good job of storytelling while teaching you something new. I think one of my favorites was the one about alpha-gal, where the woman in the story finds out she's allergic to red meat because of a tick bite. I ended up putting in a sidebar on alpha-gal when I co-authored Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World's Worst Diseases. You never know where ideas are going to come from. I like to be always learning. There's too much in the world that's fascinating, and not enough time.
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… album
If I need to zone out, it's a Studio Ghibli soundtrack. My family is full of Ghibli fans. It might be my next tattoo, to be honest. My favorite movie of those is probably Howl's Moving Castle. And yes, amazing food scenes! But if I'm feeling nostalgic, it's REM, Elvis Costello, or U2. The stuff I grew up with in high school and college. U2 was my first huge band fandom, and my first big concert during the Joshua Tree years, but my favorite album is probably The Unforgettable Fire. Recently for more contemporary stuff, it's Fleet Foxes. My daughter sang White Winter Hymnal at school and it was angelic. I tend to listen to mixes instead of albums these days.
Lydia’s perfect Sunday… treat
I have a little pond in my backyard. We built it about five years ago. The idea was to create a new ecosystem within a very plain, very suburban area. It's truly become that. As soon as we built the pond, the dragonflies arrived. The frogs came soon after. The birds would take baths all the time. We added fish, then the algae went out of control, and now the milkweed turned into a forest at the edges. A perfect moment would be drinking my coffee by the pond and feeding the koi and goldfish. It's heaven. Then I run inside because it's either too windy or I'm getting eaten by mosquitoes.
Cataclysm by Lydia Kang is out now in paperback from Random House Worlds!
After the thrilling events of The High Republic: Convergence, the Jedi race to confront the Path of the Open Hand and end the Forever War.
After five years of conflict, the planets Eiram and E’ronoh are on the cusp of real peace. But when news breaks of a disaster at the treaty signing on Jedha, violence reignites on the beleaguered worlds. Together, the royal heirs of both planets—Phan-tu Zenn and Xiri A’lbaran—working alongside the Jedi, have uncovered evidence that the conflict is being orchestrated by outside forces, and all signs point to the mysterious Path of the Open Hand, whom the Jedi also suspect of causing the disaster on Jedha.
With time—and answers—in short supply, the Jedi must divide their focus between helping quell the renewed violence on Eiram and E’ronoh and investigating the Path. Among them is Gella Nattai, who turns to the one person she believes can unravel the mystery but the last person she wants to trust: Axel Greylark. The chancellor’s son, imprisoned for his crimes, has always sought to unburden himself of the weight of his family name. Will he reconcile with the Jedi and aid in their quest for justice and peace, or embrace the Path’s promise of true freedom?
As all roads lead to Dalna, Gella and her allies prepare to take on a foe unlike any they’ve ever faced. And it will take all of their trust in the Force, and in one another, to survive.
Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction, and poetry. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician and associate professor of Internal Medicine who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.