5 books to add to your reading list
In our fast-paced lives, I find few things nicer than settling down with a good book. I've made a conscious effort to build time into every day for reading, even if it is only for 10 minutes before I fall asleep at night. It serves to help me recalibrate my day but also to take a break from looking at screens. Don't think you have enough time to read? I challenge you to question that notion, in particular by reading book #4. Happy reading!
1. Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr*
This was the lovely Flowers & Bread selection for their monthly book club, and I absolutely adored it. It takes place in the south of France, in the winter of 1970 when some of the most talented American chefs found themselves together in the place that initially inspired their food journey. It shares insight into how Julia Child, Richard Olney, James Beard, MFK Fisher, and a few other characters worked to break away American fine dining from the shackles of France. It is beautifully written by Luke Barr, the grandnephew of MFK Fisher and he worked to piece together correspondences from this tightly knit group of chefs and food writers. MFK was my favorite character - both elusive and independent. I could go on and on about her alone, and I am inspired to read more of her writing.
Read this if you are curious about the evolution of food as well as the slow food movement.
2. Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
A fun, light-hearted read that I finished in about two days. It takes place in NYC where the main character works for a food magazine, eventually discovering long-lost letters from a young girl named Lulu, written during WWII. On the other end of the correspondences was James Beard. Lulu was writing James Beard for help on recipes during the war when the rations and ingredients were limited. Eventually, the main character sets out to determine if Lulu is still living and if she recalls the letters with the famous chef.
Read this if you are looking for delightful quick and easy read.
3. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
I loved the writing style of this book. From the start, there is an almost palpable sense of longing and heartbreak that kept me wondering how the story would unfold. Set in Italy, it is coming of age story for Elio, a brilliant teenager whose father helps international students with their manuscripts. Elio falls for an American student, Oliver. Torn between what his heart is telling him versus what he “should” feel, it is insightful, and a little bit heartbreaking, read all the way to the end.
As always, books > movies.
4. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam*
I like books that question how we live our every day. This book strives to make the point that with 168 hours, or one week, you have more time than you think to design your days in a way that is suitable for you. It urges you to consider where your time goes and challenges you to dedicate more of your time to that which you find meaningful.
5. Monocle Guide for Better Living*
Admittedly this is more living on my coffee table than being diligently read, but it follows my above point. It aims to make the world a little more livable and lovable, sharing a variety of ideas and concepts that bring joy - from the cities we live in, to how we approach design, and how we spend time outdoors.
Have you read any of these books? If so, share your thoughts and opinions! (*This is an open apology to the Columbus Public Library, I will return your books very, very soon!)
Currently reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman and The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro - stay tuned!