Japrisot is a genius! A wonderful, wonderful book! At the end, everything just came together and I was so moved! How can someone have such an intense...moreJaprisot is a genius! A wonderful, wonderful book! At the end, everything just came together and I was so moved! How can someone have such an intense love for another individual? And the details...I felt like I was in the trenches along with the five soldiers. I MUST read this book (physically) in case I missed anything. Too bad a lot of his work has yet to be translated to English.(less)
I sit here deep in thought after finishing this little surprise-nougat filled-chocolate of a book. What Christopher Nolan did for Inception and Satosh...moreI sit here deep in thought after finishing this little surprise-nougat filled-chocolate of a book. What Christopher Nolan did for Inception and Satoshi Kon for Paprika is here encapsulated in a cozy little read about life in a small English town during the 30s.
Mr. Abbott, one of many secondary characters in the novel, sums it up pretty accurately:"Mr. Abbott had never before read a novel about a woman who wrote a novel about a woman who wrote a novel—it was like a recurring decimal, he thought, or perhaps even more like a perspective of mirrors such as tailors use, in which the woman and her novel were reflected back and forth to infinity. It made your brain reel if you pursued the thought too far, but there was no need to do so, unless you wanted to, of course."
Well, yeah. I definitely do, Mr. Abbott...I did. And I loved it! On to the next in the series!(less)
Birbiglia is a funny guy. I've seen some of his standup stuff, so I feel like I can say that. That aside, I loved "parts" of this book, which is why I...moreBirbiglia is a funny guy. I've seen some of his standup stuff, so I feel like I can say that. That aside, I loved "parts" of this book, which is why I marked and highlighted my way through hilarious passages that I might want to revisit later. I just wish it had been more cohesive. I don't know, maybe I'm just weird like that...but my brain needs order. I will mos def be checking out the movie, though. I've heard it's very good (from people who haven't read the book).(less)
Ruth Reichl is back, and this time she's the new restaurant critic for the New York Times. Although the Times is famous for its all-business-no-play r...moreRuth Reichl is back, and this time she's the new restaurant critic for the New York Times. Although the Times is famous for its all-business-no-play reputation, leave it to Ruthie to take her job to the next level...and have fun doing it!
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise chronicles Reichl's ten year stint with the Times, and her effort to bring good food to the masses. In order to do that, she decides to create alter egos a la Mrs. Doubtfire, to avoid red carpet treatment that would unduly influence her reviews. I like the way Ruth thinks, and it's evident in the layout of her book. Each chapter is dedicated to a character/disguise, followed by her trips to the restaurant in question, and finally the review that was published, along with it's rating. Some chapters even include Ruth's favorite recipes that tie into her life outside of work.
As Ruth soon discovers, being the NYT restaurant critic comes with a lot of perks...and power! Will she remain the down-to-earth culinary Robin Hood she started out as? Or will her position turn her into a much feared food snob? Quoting T.S. Eliot, her husband warns, "Garlic and sapphires in the mud." What a fitting title for this chapter in Reichl's life.
If you love reading about the art of food, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. She is extremely gifted at describing dishes, textures, aromas, and linking them to things you can relate to, even if you've never tried them before. For example, I always thought I was somewhat knowledable about sushi. Apparently not! Authentic sushi and sashimi employs the art of umami—a perfect taste for a perfect moment, and that incorporates the four basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter) along with a savory taste. A skilled Itamae chooses fresh, succulent fish, and is as focused on taste and texture, as in presentation. It's also super expensive, ha ha! At any rate, this makes the second book that I've read by this author, and she is now an official favorite. After finishing her book, I cooked up the dish below for a BBQ over the weekend. Needless to say, it was a hit, just like she promised it'd be!
Ruthie's Scalloped Potatoes
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
Salt and Pepper
4 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
Preheat the oven to 325F
Rub a roasting pan with the garlic, and then coat thickly with the butter.
Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan, and heat until just bout to boil Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick rounds and arrange them in layers in the pan. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes (it should come just to the top but not cover them). Bake uncovered, pressing the potatoes into the milk every 30 minutes or so, for an hour and a half.
Remove the pan from the oven when the potatoes are golden and allow to sit for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.(less)
This book is about resiliance. For four days, I felt like I lived with Ram and witnessed his triumphs and misfortunes. I was filled with equal parts f...moreThis book is about resiliance. For four days, I felt like I lived with Ram and witnessed his triumphs and misfortunes. I was filled with equal parts frustration and anger with the irony of a lot of the stories. Despite what seemed like daunting circumstances, Ram always put others ahead of himself and managed to touch so many! Nice guys don't always finish last...(less)
At 170 pages, this was a fly-by read. I love Agatha! I cannot wait to find out what Roy is up to in the next book in the series...The Murderous Marria...moreAt 170 pages, this was a fly-by read. I love Agatha! I cannot wait to find out what Roy is up to in the next book in the series...The Murderous Marriage(less)
I was at Sam's Club perusing the discounted paperbacks when an elderly woman approached me. She handed me a copy of this book and said, "You need to r...moreI was at Sam's Club perusing the discounted paperbacks when an elderly woman approached me. She handed me a copy of this book and said, "You need to read this." I looked it over, waited until she had walked away and put the book back. Big mistake! Six months later, I've come to see that she was absolutely right! This book was amazing!
There is so much history in this book, and according to the author's note, the events and locations are based on facts. "I have attempted to create a historic landscape without judging the good or bad intentions of those involved at the time", stated Ford. He did just that.
This isn't the first book I've read about Japanese American Internment during the 40s. What makes it unique is that it is related from the perspective of a 12 year-old Chinese-American boy, in the bustling China town district of Seattle.
I hope this makes it to the big screen and stays true to the book. On that note, I'll sign off by quoting my Sam's Club do-gooder: "You need to read this!" (less)
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this! It was like a melodramatic soap opera dated 1930s. The things parents do for their children...and ungrateful o...moreI thoroughly enjoyed listening to this! It was like a melodramatic soap opera dated 1930s. The things parents do for their children...and ungrateful ones, too! I felt like I'd been transported back in time and I appreciated the author's knowledge on subjects like running a business and art/music. I think it was better than the movie, surprisingly. "Let's get stinko!"(less)