Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Kitchen Year - Ruth Reichl

I came to Ruth Reichl and her books a bit backwards.  I first read her recent work of fiction, Delicious, which I reviewed here.  And I have it on my to-read-list to go back and read her other books. However, My Kitchen Year came across recently when checking in books and I dragged it home.  

This book hits many of my 'buttons' - in a good way.

First of, it's a 'year in the life of' book, which I really enjoy.  Secondly, it's filled with recipes and the stories behind them, another favorite of mine.  Third, it's written and photographed like you are peeking into her life and/or journal, getting the real story of Ruth Reichl.

Reichl starts her story just as her 10 years as editor of Gourmet magazine was abruptly ended.  Overnight she went from being the head of a well-known magazine to being unemployed.  This was the fall of 2009.

She writes 'seasonally' and includes recipes which mean a lot to her past and how they 'saved' her during the year when she was adjusting to no longer having a job.  Filled with snatches of handwriting, like it is pulled from her journal and pictures of both food and scenes from every day life, this is a book to savor.  So much so, I keep renewing it so I don't have to rush through it.

By the way, I just flipped the book open to her banana bread recipe and I have some ripe bananas begging to be used.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell

Synposis:  An American in Paris navigates her family’s secret past and unlocks her own future, in this emotionally evocative novel by New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell.

As a girl, Genevieve Martin spent the happiest summer of her life in Paris, learning the delicate art of locksmithing at her uncle’s side. But since then, living back in the States, she has become more private, more subdued. She has been an observer of life rather than an active participant, holding herself back from those around her, including her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

Paris never really left Genevieve, and, as her marriage crumbles, she finds herself faced with an incredible opportunity: return to the magical city of her youth to take over her late uncle’s shop. But as she absorbs all that Parisian culture has to offer, she realizes the city also holds secrets about her family that could change her forever, and that locked doors can protect you or imprison you, depending on which side of them you stand.

It seems I have been on a Francophile journey the past few weeks.  And right now I need my passport updated so I can head to Paris and then saunter down to Provence.  And The Paris Key did not disappoint (or help with that longing).  A quick read (I devoured in two days) and one which makes you want to dress better and find the best baguette in town.

It seems the antique key Genevieve wears around her neck, given to her by her mother,  is the 'key' to both the past and the present.  With shifting points of view, you explore how Genevieve, her mother and aunt all had, and kept, secrets, some of which impact the future.

Does Genevieve give up on getting the proper paperwork and head back to her life in the United States, or does she unlock the door to a different future with her new friends in Paris?

Another "Problem" I Have...

Yep.  Books!

This is my latest group of books I dragged home from the library from our donation cart.  The Natalie Goldberg and the Gretchen Rubin I have read and want my own copy.  The others are 'goodies' for my library.

Of course, they have to go on a huge existing stack of books which are in my library I haven't read yet. 

AND the shelf of books I have checked out from the library...

AND the audio book I am listening to.  AND the Patrick Rothfuss I have on reserve because he will be a guest at Miscon 30 and I haven't read any of his books.

AND the books on my e-reader.

Of this stack, I have actually finished one which will be a forthcoming review.  Incarnation I received as part of a blog hop review in May.  I will be posting my review on May 19, so stay tuned.

So yes, I have a book problem.

And I love it!