Back to the Books

I am so happy to have gotten reading groove back this month, it helps to have found some great books.

I devoured this memoir Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life by Kim Severson.  Severson is a food writer for the NY Times and tells her personal story intertwined with  interviews and tidbits with famous chefs and recipes.  I loved hearing her stories about Alice Waters, learning more about Ruth Reichl, and had not thought of Rachael Ray in her terms but totally agree.

Say what you will about her food style, her love of the phrase “yum-o” or her thirty-minute shtick, Rachael has led back to the kitchen a whole generation for whom The Joy of Cooking might as well be the Koran and the drive-through lane the family dinner table.

The chapter featuring Alice Waters was by far my favorite and most enlightening (learned we were born in the same town).  The book gave me a better appreciation for her simple food philosophy and involvement in the slow food movement and  food education.  She certainly shoots for the moon with her ideas and Severson makes her education goals sound so possible.

Imagine if students learned math by laying out garden plots and biology and earth science lessons were taught as students prepared soil, gauged the weather and harvested food.  Grinding maize could be the basis for a lesson on pre-Colombian civilizations.  Recipe writing become an English lesson.  Digging weeds and building fences would count as physical education.

A strong start to the month that kept me wanting to read more!   Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob was next on my list. A quick read since I actually skimmed most of the second half of this book.  Certainly I am not going to write a cookbook or a memoir, but it still gave me a new perspective to appreciate what goes into food writing.  I especially enjoyed the stories of how well known food writers ended up focusing on food.

The book club book this month was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I’ve been hearing about this book for the last year, but really had not interest.  I wrote it off as “not my type”, it sounded to sci-fi for me.  Well let me say I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I read the book in only a few sittings and then immediately bought the second book, Catching Fire.  That is what I love about book club — it pushes me to read books outside my norm.  I am about a quarter of the way through the second book and it is just as captivating, I assume I will read the third back hot on it’s heels.  I will need to find  some good summer reading.  Any suggestions?


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