Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read In a Day

IMG_2962

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.

Let me just say that I’m not really good at reading books in one sitting. I’m not even very good at reading one book at a time. If I’ve “lost” my current book around the house, I’ll just pick up another one. This usually leads to a lot of library books nestled in strange corners of the couch or atop precarious laundry piles or hidden under papers I just took off my desk. I’m also not that focused as a reader, reading for an hour before getting up to do something else and then coming back to my book. Or I’ll switch a chapter on and off with one book with another book or another task. So reading a book in a day for me is very unusual. Here are ten (recent-ish books) that overcame all the odds. Or were very short.

 

Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the English Countryside by Andrea di Robilant

I’ve talked about this book before on the blog, but it sticks in my mind. I read it years ago now, but it was one of the first books in a long time that I felt utterly consumed by. If you’re interested in Italy (and why wouldn’t you be), and you like people who chase down weird family history and/or roses, you should read this.

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher

I sat down to read a few pages of this at the library, and didn’t look up until the whole thing was finished. Fun and clever.

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl

I was just captivated by the stories along with the recipes. One of the better cookbooks I’ve read in a while.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

This book is pretty depressing, but it’s very short and well-written. So that’s something.

Ragnarok by A.S. Byatt

I really liked Possession, so when I saw another book by Byatt at the book sale, I knew I needed to read it. It’s definitely nothing like her other work, but it was really interesting and immersive (even if maybe you didn’t want to be immersed in it)

Butter Celebrates! Delicious Recipes for Special Occasions by Rosie Daykin

I read this book quickly, as there wasn’t much to it besides the recipes. I’ve only tried one so far and it didn’t really work out. This is why I get cookbooks from the library instead of buying a bunch of them. But I have hopes for the next recipe anyway.

Patience by Daniel Clowes

Read it fast to get it over with–I didn’t feel like I could not finish the graphic novel since it takes such a short time to read them, but it wasn’t my favorite by a long shot.

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

Another graphic novel, which I read quickly because it was very good.

A-Z of Wedding Style by Kate Bethune

Another very short book, with lots of pictures and white space. I really enjoyed the illustrations though. A good book for people who like fashion.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I’ve done a lot of ranting and raving about this book, but it definitely deserves it. In addition to being a great book, it was also a very quick read.

 

So there’s 10 recent book I’ve managed to complete in a reasonable amount of time without getting too distracted by anything else. What’s the last book you read in a day or in a single sitting? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 of My Favorite Fictional Couples From Literature and Film

IMG_2962

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you are feeling the love today. Valentine’s Day has never been a really big deal to me. My fiance and I tend to do little things. He usually picks up flowers for me, usually some colorful daisies or pretty mums–something cheery–several days early so that I can enjoy them for a while. We like to go pick out chocolates at one of the places around town. Here in Boise our favorite spot to do that is Chocolat Bar, which makes the most amazing truffles. We also cook dinner together. It’s very mellow. Let me know if you have special plans for today in the comments!

Today’s topic is all about romance. So I thought I would share some of my favorite couples with you from literature and film. Here they are:

Literary Couples

  • Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley from Jane Austen’s Emma” I cannot make speeches, Emma. If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.”

Why they’re great: Knightley calls Emma out when she’s behaving selfishly and forces her to acknowledge what she’s doing. He’s also quick to praise when he approves, and he’s always acting on behalf of others. Emma meanwhile never just accepts Knightley’s opinions at face value and challenges him. This is a couple that will challenge each other to do good for other people. They have good communication established, and their relationship is founded on friendship and mutual respect.

  • Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter:  “Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!”

Why they’re great: What makes Ron and Hermione good people is what helps to make them a good couple. Ron is loyal, brave, and true, while Hermione is strong, idealistic, and clever. Together they challenge each other. Ron tries to get Hermione to think outside the box and she helps bring him down to earth again. Even though they argue, their relationship is ultimately based on years of friendship that have been strengthened through the trials they’ve gone through together.

  • Arthur and Molly Weasley from Harry Potter“What do you like me to call you when we’re alone together?…Mollywobbles.”

Why they’re great: Arthur and Molly may not have much money, but that hasn’t interfered all that much with their relationship. Each is always concerned with the other’s welfare and takes their thoughts and feelings to heart. They don’t always agree or always understand each other’s position, but they are a united team.

  • Benedict and Beatrice from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing“I do love nothing in the world so well as you- is not that strange?”

Why they’re great: It takes them a while to figure out they’re the perfect couple, but it’s obvious to everyone else. No one can keep up with their wit and intelligence; they’re the best sparring partners. They keep each other on their toes. And in the end, Benedict is able to go beyond talking about his feelings and proves his love, challenging his dearest friend to a duel.

  • Cyrano de Bergerac and Roxanne from Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac“And what is a kiss, specifically? A pledge properly sealed, a promise seasoned to taste, a vow stamped with the immediacy of a lip, a rosy circle drawn around the verb ‘to love.’ A kiss is a message too intimate for the ear, infinity captured in the bee’s brief visit to a flower, secular communication with an aftertaste of heaven, the pulse rising from the heart to utter its name on a lover’s lip: ‘Forever.’”

Why they’re great: Roxanne longs to hear beautiful words and Cyrano longs to tell her them. Though I have to admit the fact that they’re cousins kind of weirds me out, their devotion and intelligence carries them through. The ending is tragic, but it’s so poignant.

Film Couples

  • Lucky Garnett and Penny Carroll in Swing Time“Listen. No one could teach you to dance in a million years. Take my advice and save your money!”

Why they’re great: They’re sometimes at cross purposes, but you know they’re going to get together, which means plenty of dancing and singing. I don’t know of a more wonderful couple than Fred and Ginger in whatever movie they did together. Astaire is full of grace and Rogers is full of fun and together they are amazing.

*I do think that as much as I really like this film I find the “bojangles” scene really racist and disturbing, and I think that’s really important to acknowledge. Even though it was the 1930s, and times were “different,” the caricature is prejudiced and unnecessary.*

  • Wesley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride“This is true love–you think this happens every day?”

Why they’re great: True love. Love deep enough and true enough to never be stopped by anything–not death, not distance, not time, not kings and queens and princes. Nothing.

  • Hubert Hawkins and Jean in The Court Jester: “The real king is on the throne, Jean is my very own, and life couldn’t possibly better be.”

Why they’re great: They’re relationship turns traditional gender roles on their head. Hawkins minds the child, the future King of England, and the Captain is off rallying new recruits, training, and leading them. She’s sharp and warm, he’s eager and funny. Together they show huge amounts of bravery and devotion, both to each other and their cause.

  • Don Lockwood and Cathy Seldon in Singin’ in the Rain: “You were meant for me/ and I was meant for you/ nature patterned you/ and when she was done/ you were all the sweet things/ rolled up in one”

Why they’re great: It may have started off in desperation (Lockwood fleeing from his over-eager fans), but it ends in love. Cathy’s talent, beauty, charisma, and good nature can’t help but win Don over and I think the same qualities are what let her put down her walls and fall for him.

  • Han Solo and Princess Leia in Star Wars“I love you. I know.”

Why they’re great: Both of them are strong characters in their own right, and together they make a pretty impressive pair. These rebels are meant to be together.

Top Ten Tuesday: A Conversation About What Makes For Good Books

IMG_2962

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and The Bookish.

I’m not going to lie–this week’s topic was really difficult for me. There are sometimes books where I wonder what this would have been like with more female characters, or wished a book had a little more resolution or a different ending. But these feelings are so few and far between, so fleeting, that I wouldn’t even have enough of them to make any sort of cohesive list.

My mom and I were talking about this topic on the phone. I told her I’d given up on this week’s post because I had no idea what to write about. We started talking about books and what makes a book good and what makes a book enjoyable. I wanted to share some of our thoughts with you instead of a normal list-type post. These thoughts aren’t all that organized, so I hope you will excuse my rambling.

In general, I abide by the rule that there is always more to read. So, if I don’t like a book, I don’t sweat it and I just set it aside. But I also know that there is a book for every reader and a reader for every book. If I two-star a book on Goodreads that someone else gave five stars to, does that make either of us a bad reader? I don’t think so. We just have different tastes.

A lot of reading is subjective. What do you enjoy, and how do you find books with those attributes? Everyone has individual preferences. But writing is not just something done for entertainment. It has its “low” and “high” Art sides, but any way you slice it, literature is an art form. Every book is a cultural artifact, striving to teach us something about humanity and our own times or times past.

Sometimes I’ve felt pressure to feel certain ways about books by peers or by professors. Ulysses, for example, is not my favorite book. Not even close. But how do you tell that to a professor who has spent his whole academic career grappling with a single author? I appreciate James Joyce’s brilliance–and I understand he deserves acclaim and readership. He created a masterwork. He’s a Michelangelo of the written word.

But here’s the issue: we can agree Michelangelo was a master and not like his work. Even the not-so-subjective ways we have of judging art (and books) are, in some ways, subjective. We can agree that there are certain things we look for in books: character development, plot, description and narrative style, etc. But there’s no gold standard or formula for great literature, and in the end art is judged individually. Hopefully critics understand the context and are well-versed enough in their area to give a good opinion, but ultimately appreciating art is about values. Do you value characters over plot the way that I do? Do you value experimentation? Description or word play? In other words, what do you put up on a pedestal?

Chances are, the books that you feel are missing something are simply books that don’t value the same things that you do. Not every book can do everything at 100%. In art, some aspects take a back seat to give others emphasis. Whether you agree with those decisions or not decides in a large part whether you’ll like the book.

I think it’s always important to read with an open mind. If we’re always trying to make a book something that it’s not, we miss out on what it is. Sometimes maybe it’s better to miss out, and that’s okay. But I think it’s important to remind ourselves that someone took the time to put those words on paper, to create a part of culture. Whenever I read I try (and this is not always easy) to think not what does this book need, but what does it already offer?

 

What do you think makes a book great? Let me know in the comments.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: My Experiences with Graphic Novels

 

collage-2017-01-31-1

My 5 all-time favorite graphic novels to date. All pictures from Goodreads.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.

What I love about graphic novels is the way they use pictures to evoke mood in a more immediate way than words alone. So much of communication is non-verbal and graphic novels let you experience the importance of a significant look or gesture.  If the story is a memoir, they provide a kind of self-portrait. Like a comic they are guided by pictures, but unlike a comic they are focused on narrative rather than action.

Since I’ve spoken about all of these graphic novels before, I thought I’d spend today’s post talking about my renewed interest in graphic novels and how I’ve become a pretty big fan over the last year or so.

The first, and for a while the only, graphic novels I read were Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Art Spiegelman’s Maus books. I was introduced to Satrapi via the film Persepolis, and it was only from there that I went to read her work. I remember being blown away–not just by the nature of her experience–but by the young woman herself: cool, rebellious, full of conviction but also doubt, intelligent and never parroting. She was the person I had always wanted to be. In an interview with Vogue, she said she didn’t consider her work to be autobiographical because “…normally an autobiography is a book that you write because you hate your family and your friends and you don’t know how to say it to them, so you write a book and let them read it themselves.” Instead her story is a family history, and the history of the 70s and 80s of Iran told through the lens of her personal experience. It was an immensely important work, and even as a freshman or sophomore in high school I recognized that.

Part of me wanted more of this new medium I’d discovered, but I wasn’t sure where to get it. Our library wasn’t all that good of keeping up with the times, and there wasn’t much in the graphic section except for manga and comics. I admire both of these art forms, but they’ve never really spoken to me. So I went back to reading other things that spoke to me instead.

Then in college someone told me (or maybe I overheard someone speak about) The Maus series. I went looking for these specifically, and I was blown away. Art Spiegelman has said in many interviews that “the Holocaust trumps art,” and I think by and large he’s right about this. And yet his graphic novels are so full of emotional power,I cried reading them (which is not something I normally do). Maus II won a Pulitzer prize, the first and only graphic novel to do so.

I came to the graphic novel through other ways too. My brother was in the process of becoming a Bar Mitzvah, and his Sunday school/Hebrew school teacher took his group to see an exhibit at the Portland Art Museum about a graphic novel that depicted the entire book of Genesis. The artwork wrapped its way throughout the room and you could make out both familiar and not-so-familiar stories. It reminded me of the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah, during which the entire scroll is unwrapped (taking up the entire room), supported by the congregation. The end of the Torah and the beginning are supposed to be read in the same breath, showing that it has no beginning or end. It’s one of my favorite Jewish holidays, though I’ve only actually attended a couple of times.

Beyond this encounter though, most of my reading was relegated to school reading and various novels, and I didn’t seriously start looking at graphic novels again until after my fiance and I had moved to Idaho.

In the end, it was a Podcast that got me into graphic novels more seriously. The Bridechilla podcast interviewed Lucy Knisley about her book, Something New: Tales From a Makeshift Bride, and I was already reading all these wedding books, and I knew I’d have to add it to the list. So I read it. And then I read two more of her books. And then I started finding them all over the library in the new books section, in the staff recommended books section, and in the obvious place, the graphic novel section.

Apparently I was ready to embrace this medium. The art felt so immediate, so closely tied to the words on the page. Some of them were heavily researched, others were tales of personal journeys. Beyond the fact that they were often quick to read, making them a bit of a relief from a year largely spent reading books that weren’t all that special, they were a new world you could escape to in a single sitting.

Of course, I’ve also read some that I didn’t enjoy very much, and I’ve found that my favorites are either brutally honest personal narratives or meticulously researched but still lighthearted histories.

I still have a long way to go. But now I’ve gotten better at finding these books, and I’m more open about them finding me.

 

What’s your experience with graphic novels? Have you read any of my favorites or do you have a recommendation for me? Let me know in the comments!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I’ve Read Recently that I Wasn’t Looking For But Glad I Found

IMG_2962

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.

I think that you find books at the right times to read them…or you don’t and you miss out on that book. Sometimes the book is the right one for you, and you can read it over and over again without it ever feeling stale. Sometimes you try to read it again, and the magic is gone. The books you find at the right time just by chance stick with you. Did someone in the know recommend it? Did you find it on a bookshelf while looking for something else? Where do you find books that you aren’t looking for?

These are some of my favorite books, even if they aren’t that great, even though they don’t do anything to help my TBR list. Sometimes it’s the right time to find a book that you weren’t looking for.

In addition, this list of books also only includes those that have fewer than 15,000 ratings on Goodreads.

In the “New Books” Section of the Library

Even when I tell myself that there should be a limit to the number of books I should be checking out, I always look over at the “new” section–just to see what’s there.

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

About: A sort of Arabian Nights meets the digital world. Alif is the equivalent of a code   name, one he uses online where he protects anyone’s presence on the internet from the eyes of the Hand for a price. When weird things start to happen, Alif is shown an entirely new world that he never could have believed to exist, one that is far from virtual.

Verdict: This was a really fun read that I probably never would have come across if I had stuck to my reading schedule. It had really interesting things to say about technology, magic, and censorship–not to mention religion and government.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

About: This book is about Truman Capote through the eyes of the society women he captivated and later betrayed. The story is told through the women’s perspective and paints an interesting portrait of both society in question and of the writer.

Verdict: I read this book before In Cold Blood, and it actually gave me the determination I needed to start what I thought would be a pretty daunting venture (it really wasn’t, but I’m glad I was able to get into the book and see that). If you don’t like to read about wealthy women, you probably won’t enjoy this, but the characters, for all their privilege, are extremely vulnerable and interesting.

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson

About: An eccentric young boy with a reclusive authoress as his mother and a nanny who’s been sent by the publisher to give his mother time to write. The book follows the nanny’s perspective (who in her regular job isn’t a nanny at all), her frustrations and trials as she deals with a child who dresses like he’s 30 years old in the 1930’s, knows everything there is to know about his favorite old movies, and doesn’t like his things being touched.

Verdict: This book is all about personalities, the most captivating one being Frank’s. This woman loves this family that doesn’t really accept her into it, at least not right away. I found this book to be charming. The plot moves slowly, but plot isn’t really the point here.

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

About: The last living descendant of the Bronte sisters enters a venerable old British institution. She’s told everyone that there’s no mystery fortune that’s been passed down from the Brontes, though the press refuses to believe it. But when she starts to receive copies of the Bronte’s books–books that should have been burnt in her father’s library years ago when it caught fire–she thinks maybe someone is trying to tell her something different.

Verdict: A modern, and only slightly gothic, romance/mystery that fits into the Bronte tradition. For anyone who likes Austen or the Bronte sisters.

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

About: A classic trying-to-have-it-all story about a mother who thinks she can make everything balance until life starts getting crazy.

Verdict: This is a great beach/vacation/cozy time read. It’s not all that serious or difficult, and you could be finished with it in a couple sittings.

 

Found Wandering the Library

There are times when I’ll just wander through the shelves and see what strikes me. Some of these were found in specific sections (graphic novels are great for browsing, since there’s usually a limited number of them).

The Rocks by Peter Nichols

About: The book moves backward in time and follows the lives of two ex-pat families living in the Mediterranean. It’s sort of a Romeo and Juliet story with an olive grove twist.

Verdict: I’d seen this book many times at one of the bookstores I frequented in college. It always caught my eye, but I never bought it (mainly because I don’t usually buy books randomly). When I saw it on the shelf, I knew it was time. It wasn’t one of my favorites. I liked the time flow and loved the setting, but on the whole I found the characters difficult to either root for or summon much dislike for (with some exceptions). I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, but it was really a 3.5 I rounded up.

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua

About: The story/alternative history of the first computer.

Verdict: As I’ve mentioned before, this was one of my favorite books of the year, and I only found it by browsing the shelves.

My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

About: One woman’s journey with her favorite book throughout her life. It’s part memoir and part literary criticism.

Verdict: Since I read Middlemarch the year before, it was definitely the right time to read this book, which turned out to be interesting and well-written and researched. Reading books like this is a holdover from my college days, and I always enjoy bringing new perspectives to a text.

 

Staff Picks at the Library

I gave this it’s own section because it’s more like getting a book recommendation rather than just strolling along a shelf.

James Joyce: Portrait of a Dubliner by Alfonso Zapico

About: The life of James Joyce in graphic novel form.

Verdict: A really great biography of a complicated man. Translated from Spanish.

 

Mom’s Recommendation

There actually would be more books in this section if I had been more dedicated to reading at the end of the year. My mom and I share books back and forth a lot, and she is really good at picking things out for me and vice versa.

Lost in Translation by Nicole Mones

About: An archaeologist hires a translator in China to help him in his quest for dig approval. (There’s no connection to the Bill Murray film just in case you were wondering)

Verdict: This book was so good! If you like archaeology and romance and a little history thrown in I think you should give this book a try. The characters are really interesting and the writing is atmospheric and sensual.

 

Reading is all about discovery. What have you “discovered” lately?

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 2016 Releases I’m Really Excited About

IMG_2962

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is all about what 2016 releases we really meant to get to, but weren’t able to read for whatever reason. My reading is almost always at least a year (if not a century) behind, so I actually like waiting for the best-of-the-year lists to come out, and a lot of times I build up my to-read list from these compiled lists by people who do actually read the books when they come out. In particular, I really like NPR’s list because it’s super fun and visual and easy to sort through (I am a huge nerd about good indexing and cross indexing), not to mention the blurbs are written by people like librarians and NPR staffers instead of publishing houses. I like the different perspectives. So here are ten books that I mostly haven’t mentioned yet, but that I can’t wait to read whether that’s this year or years down the road when they happen to find me.

  • The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson–Starts on the brink of WWI in a small English town–a book about manners and how they’re affected by the chaos of war. Sounds like a great read. (in the Book Club Ideas Section)
  • Umami by Laia Jufresa–I love reading translated books (part of the enjoyment being thinking about how the book is different in the native language–pure speculation), and this debut novel about loss and connection in Mexico City seems like a great read. (in the Staff Picks Section).
  • Patience by Daniel Clowes–Graphic novels are so interesting and moving, and I like the change of pace from regular novels every now and again. This book is supposed to be a love story, but also involves time travel. Can you really ask for more than that? (in the For Art Lovers section)
  • Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung–A boarding school story set in Australia with a young woman who struggles to find a place for herself and her heritage, a YA with plenty of nuance–my favorite kind. (in the Tales From Around the World section)
  • The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller’s Obsession With A Lost Masterpiece by Laura Cumming–a nonfiction book about a man obsessed  with a work of art. (in the Seriously Great Writing section)
  • The Glass Universe: How The Ladies Of The Harvard Observatory Took The Measure Of The Stars by David Sobel–A group of female astrologists, long relegated to the sidelines are brought to the forefront. This books talks about the women themselves as well as their contributions to science. (in the It’s All Geek to Me section)
  • The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg–A spin on the 1,001 Nights, and that’s all I have to know to be interested in this graphic novel. (in the Ladies First section)
  • The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer–A nonfiction book about brave librarians who risk everything to save books…um yes please. (in the Identity & Culture section)
  • The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman–YA historical fiction that takes the historical part seriously but isn’t afraid to throw a few demons in. (in the Rather Long section)
  • The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to Enlightenment ed. by Brian Copenhaver–I love reading about magic and how the perception of it has changed over time. This book looks like something of an undertaking, but a good one. (in the Eye-Opening Reads section)

 

How do you find new books for your TBR lists? Was there a book you missed this year that you really were looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books About Food I’d Love to Find Under My Tree

IMG_2962

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.

I’m not sure how many books I’m actually going to be receiving for Hanukkah/Christmas this year (considering that my fiance and I aren’t exchanging our usual bookish gifts–I got a computer instead and I’ve got different surprises in the works for him), but there’s always an insanely long list of books I’d love to have.

To narrow it down a little, I’ve limited this list to cookbooks/food memoirs. Because the holidays always make me hungry!

  • A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer

This is exactly the book I need to take my Game of Thrones obsession to the next level.

  • How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson

I like to think that I’m pretty much a domestic goddess already, but I’m eager to pick up some more tips. Maybe she has an idea of how to trick yourself into enjoying doing dishes…

  • Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia by Larousse

I don’t know how often I’d use this book, but I want to read it from cover to cover.

  • Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya von Bremzen

Food is memories–even if those memories aren’t always the warmest or most pleasant. Food is still home.

  • The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory–More than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike by Dinah Bucholz

Our friends actually gave us this cookbook for Christmas and I was so excited! I can’t wait to cook something from it.

harry potter.jpg

  • Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli by Ted Merwin

Even as delis are beginning to disappear, they’re such a big part of America’s culinary history (and they’re delicious). I miss the deli that used to be close to our house growing up. When it closed I was so sad.

  • Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons

I read some of Gibbon’s work for my food writing class, and I’d love to read his famous work.

  • Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Twisted Treats from the Sweetest Little Food Cart on the Planet by Kir Jensen

This Portland food cart has really fun desserts, and I’d love to see what in her cookbook!

  • Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube Presents: The Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma

A book of recipes by my favorite YouTube baker, Cupcake Jemma (I love her Oreo cupcakes)

  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime–Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper by Ree Drummond

This is the only Pioneer Woman cookbook I don’t own. I love her step-by-step photos and down-to-earth nature.