“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.” - Austin Phelps
ROBERTA: full disclosure, last week when I was in charge of coming up with brilliant blog topics or scintillating guests, I was on vacation in Greece. Reading. Having run out of reading material in a Spanish-speaking country on my last big trip, I know how important it is to pack the right books. And enough of them. As a big fan of Mystic River, I chose a review of copy of Dennis Lehane's new book, due out in October. It's a whopper. 700 pages. I started it on the plane and became immediately discouraged by the historical context and the heavy emphasis on baseball. Hours and pages later, I couldn't bear to put it down. Don't expect a mystery or crime fiction or the kind of puzzles Lehane has crafted in his other books. This a grand historical saga following several families through the years at the end of WWI. Babe Ruth is an actual character. (I didn't know you could do that!) Exquisitely written of course, though I don't care for his depiction of women. Is that the era or the author? Anyway, John plowed through it too and we passed it off to our traveling companions to avoid repacking in the carry-on bags that were already overweight.
Then I launched into a mini-series of foodie books, including THE LAST CHINESE CHEF by Nicole Mones about a widowed food writer on assignment to cover a banquet that will determine the top chefs of China. This will make you hungry for Chinese food, and you'll be hard put to accept the local takeout joint.
And I finished up with JULIE AND JULIA by Julie Powell, a memoir by a woman who decides to spend the year cooking every recipe in MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING by Julia Child. This woman is nuts! But I found it highly entertaining (liberal swears and a cache of maggots in the kitchen aside), and couldn't help marveling at the brilliant concept of her project, her blog, and the ensuing book deal!
That's it--you're up! What are you reading?