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What are you reading these days?


helenas
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In the stack on my nighttable: A Gesture Life by Chang Rae Lee, The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher, The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden and a whole slew of magazines, including several week's worth of The New Yorker, Real Simple, Gourmet, Shape (hey, something's gotta offset the eating :biggrin: ) and Better Homes and Gardens.

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One of my favorite topics (what people are reading, that is), so I figured I'd add my $.02.....

Sketches from a Hunter's Notebook--Turgenev

A Sentimental Education--Flaubert (since they were good friends, I like the synchronicity of reading these two at the same time)

Dodo--E.F. Benson (not quite as utterly delicious as the Lucia books, but still fun)

The Culture We Deserve--Jacques Barzun (everything I've always felt about the current state of art and scholarship but could never quite articulate)

The Station: Athos, Treasures, and Men--Robert Byron (about a trip to Mt. Athos in Greece. Byron was a classmate of Waugh and Sykes, and the only book of his still in print is The Road to Oxiana...if you want to read a REAL travel book--as opposed to a tourist guide--about a trip to the Oxus river region in Afghanistan in the 1930's, pick it up. It's brilliantly written, and meticulously and wittily observed--his sense of satire and the comic is wonderful. Paul Fussell calls this book "the Ulysses of travel books.")

I always seem to end up editorializing when it comes to these things....

BTW, I found A Nervous Splendor fascinating....if you want an interesting look at Vienna about 35 years after that time period, read Elias Canetti's third volume of memoirs, Das Augenspiel (The Play of the Eyes). It's some of the same sort of material, except he was friends with many of the major figures in the cultural and intellectual world there in the '20's. His way of thinking and feeling (and therefore writing) is utterly unique and marvelous....I consider anything by him well worth reading.

My restaurant blog: Mahlzeit!

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The Station:  Athos, Treasures, and Men--Robert Byron (about a trip to Mt. Athos in Greece.  Byron was a classmate of Waugh and Sykes, and the only book of his still in print is The Road to Oxiana...if you want to read a REAL travel book--as opposed to a tourist guide--about a trip to the Oxus river region in Afghanistan in the 1930's, pick it up.  It's brilliantly written, and meticulously and wittily observed--his sense of satire and the comic is wonderful.  Paul Fussell calls this book "the Ulysses of travel books.")

Thanks for the recommendation. I must try and get this book. :smile:

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for my birthday i treated myself to some of the back issues of art of eating and am doling them out a bit at a time, savoring them immensely

i am also reading:

on rue tatin

chile death(a mystery) by susan albert whitting

strong women stay slim

amy's answering machine

bad heir day

i also have a few romance novels by the late betty neels in my gym bag in case it rains and i get a workout instead of counting hawks

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas just because I read it every year on vacation.

A Chef's Tour because I've been trying to read it for 3 months.

The New Clancy which really sucks so far causing me to continue my Gonzo journey.

Michael Connelly's Bloodwork which is pretty good.

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Norman Davies's The Isles has been staring meaningfully at me from a high shelf for a couple of years now.

Food reading: Lesley Brenner, The Fourth Star (oh, of course I read it before the Q&A, so I must be reading it again :wink: ).

Other: Joris-Karl Huysmans, La Cathedrale; Sextus Propertius, poetry; George Barker Selected Poems; J.M.G. Le Clezio, Le Proces Verbal; Goethe, dramatic works (no, not all of them).

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Ahem.

Some people disagree with that assessment.  :hmmm:

Seriously? You mean people may have different opinions as to who is the greatest living American writer?

Well, to quote Tommy, color me shocked.

Actually, last week I thought that Chabon was the greatest. Next week, I am angling toward Lorie Moore, but it could be Richard Ford. Totally depends on my mood.

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Just finished "The Art of Travel". Excellent use of quotes and stories by travellers and philosophers from the past.

Started, and thoroughly enjoying "A Thousand Days in Venice". Has a handful of interesting recipes at the end.

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Just finished: East of Eden (John Steinbeck); A Reporter's Life (Walter Cronkite's memoirs)

Starting: The Winter Of Our Discontent (John Steinbeck)

In the middle of: The Fifties (David Halberstam); Persian Letters (Montesquieu); Daniel Deronda (George Eliot); To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf); Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Nikolai Leskov)

Yes, I'm a Steinbeck fan. I used to be vehemently anti-American lit, but my tastes are gradually changing....hopefully for the better.

Next stop: Hemingway and Faulkner (both I've never read...yes, gasp (!), sad but true).

SA

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Just finished:

Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin

(Finished day before yesterday. Had me in tears.  One of the best novels I have ever read) Not sure when I will read another book that will make me churn as much in deep thought.

This is just a suggestion, but the book that may also do that for you is Beloved by Toni Morrison. Like most of Morrison's work, it is not an easy book to read. I have not met anyone who has read it who didn't say that they had to stop and restart from the beginning several times in order to fully grasp all the levels that the book is operating on simultaneously. I had the same experience, but it was well worth the effort, and it is one of the most powerful and enlightening books I have ever read.

I always have at least 10 books I read at the same time.  It keeps my interest going and also keeps me informed about more than just one way of thinking.  Some think I am a fool for keeping so many books open at the same time... But that is how I am.  I read a lot and sleep little.  Books are my companions for the most part of my life.

I can attest to reading in a similar fashion, but my list is a little shorter. I read a lot, write even more, and also sleep very little.

Currently reading:

Paris To the Moon, by Adam Gopnik

The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov

Immortality, by Milan Kundera

Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Zimmermann Telegram, by Barbara Tuchman

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

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Just finished:

Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin

(Finished day before yesterday. Had me in tears.  One of the best novels I have ever read) Not sure when I will read another book that will make me churn as much in deep thought.

This is just a suggestion, but the book that may also do that for you is Beloved by Toni Morrison. Like most of Morrison's work, it is not an easy book to read. I have not met anyone who has read it who didn't say that they had to stop and restart from the beginning several times in order to fully grasp all the levels that the book is operating on simultaneously. I had the same experience, but it was well worth the effort, and it is one of the most powerful and enlightening books I have ever read.

Beloved is one of my all time favorite books. I guess I will have to go back to reading it again.

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I am always interested to learn what others are reading, within the subject area of cooking or without.

As for me, I am almost done with The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. It's a non-food book -- an adventure mystery set in an alternate 1985. Quite fun.

Next up on the docket is Henry V by William Shakespeare. I will be auditioning for it in several weeks, and I need to brush up!

I'm currently stockpiling my food magazines -- Gourmet, Bon App, F&W, Fine Cooking, and Saveur (I recently subscribed to most of these to take advantage of the savings) in anticipation of our trip to the Dominican Republic at the end of this month. Magazines are good for reading on the plane and in the airports. Wendy & I will be in the tropical warmth for my birthday, a fact made even more tantalizing by rumors that it may snow here next week!

I've got, once we get back, The Chef's Art: Secrets of Four-Star Cooking at Home to read. It's too heavy to cart on vacation! There are a few other food-related books on my stack, too.

I admire those individuals that are in the midst of several (!) books at one time. I cannot do that -- I get confused rather easily, and would certainly think that Henry V was showing me how to make a great crepe!

-drew

www.drewvogel.com

"Now I'll tell you what, there's never been a baby born, at least never one come into the Firehouse, who won't stop fussing if you stick a cherry in its face." -- Jack McDavid, Jack's Firehouse restaurant

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Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri

How are you liking it?

I loved it.... I find it one of the few books written by a writer of Indian ethnicity that I have really loved a great deal.

I love it. It is truly worthy of the accolades it has received.

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