Kitchen Confidential is a book about "the dark recesses of the restaurant underbelly- a subculture whose centuries old militaristic hierarchy, and eth...moreKitchen Confidential is a book about "the dark recesses of the restaurant underbelly- a subculture whose centuries old militaristic hierarchy, and ethos of 'rum buggery and the lash' make for a mix of unwavering order and nerve shattering chaos." Indeed from sex in the kitchen to drugs this book is a metaphor and simile drown piece of chaos.
I am not one to romance food, but occasionally I do like read about someone who does. Bourdain's book is well... sort of gross. Food sounds disgusting when paired with drugs, sex and other illicit behavior and a whole book of it is not that great to read. His dark humor and snarky commentary that many of us enjoy on his television show are there, there is just a lot more of it. I understand why people enjoy this book I am just not one of those people. I prefer my food and adventures much more boring than he likes his. (less)
What is it about yoga memoirs as of late? They are all deeply moving while at the same time being incredibly funny. I love it! Suzanne Morrison is fan...moreWhat is it about yoga memoirs as of late? They are all deeply moving while at the same time being incredibly funny. I love it! Suzanne Morrison is fantastically funny and there is so much of her experience with her yoga teacher training that I can relate to. Although I have to say that there were no "piss drinkers" in my class (at least not that I know of... hmmm there was that one person whom I thought always smelled a little of... no, no I am pretty sure there were no piss drinkers in my yoga teacher training).
At one point while reading this book (I will admit it, it was when the farting in class came up in the book) that I was laughing so hard that my husband had to ask me what the heck I was doing and when I replied that I was reading about honking like Ganesha I think he sort of rolled his eyes.
Beside being truly entertaining this book spoke a little to the falseness yoga can sometimes foster in some of the students and teachers. I have to admit the more I paid for yoga the more disconnected I felt from my yoga. I dislike the commercialization of yoga and yet I make handmade yoga mat bags and sell them. I much like Morrison, feel that there is this HUGE contradiction in the way Americans (and most likely other people around the world) practice yoga. I have learned to accept that it is just a reality of life and of yoga. Some of us just feel the call of all the "shiny happy things" more than others.
Besides the cigarette smoking, I really like Morrison as a person (at least as the person she comes across in her writing I do not actually know her...). I learned a lot from her book, mainly that we really are all the same when it comes down to it, we even experience spiritual journeys in very similar ways.
Read this book to laugh, to think and to inspire you to make your practice your own. (less)
Ever since my husband and I adopted our now 10 year old border collie Maverick from the Humane Society I have had a special place in my heart for stor...moreEver since my husband and I adopted our now 10 year old border collie Maverick from the Humane Society I have had a special place in my heart for stories about dogs, memoirs about the ways that dogs have changed people’s lives… pretty anything having to do with dogs, any type of dog. This year alone I have read a few dog memoirs and thoroughly enjoyed the stories shared by my fellow dog parents out there. When I given the book The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout for review I was thrilled. Before I even opened the book I already liked it because on the cover is the cutest little Golden Retriever I had ever seen. I started to read the book this past weekend and discovered that unfortunately it did not follow the direction I had hoped it would go. If you have read any of the other reviews out there for The Puppy Diaries (which was scheduled for publication this month) you may already know what I am about to say.
Jill Abramson author of a column about her dog Scout in the New York Times and the managing editor of the New York Times turned her popular column into book about the first year of raising her dog Scout. I am not familiar with the blog so I am not sure how much emotion and feeling went into the blog but the book somewhat lacked a personal quality. There were very sincere moments about the love she had for her three dogs but they were so brief. The majority of the book read like a marketing campaign for various books, dog training professionals, dog friendly place in New York City and even pet insurance. The information that was provided in this section is valuable to those people who live in New York City with dogs and or those who have never owned a dog before, unfortunately though this book is promoted and placed not in the “how to guides” but in the “pet memoir” category.
When something is promoted as a memoir I expect a certain amount of emotion and tone that indicates someone is truly analyzing the situations in their life and are “baring their soul” for the read to read. This book was not that way; therefore it was somewhat of a disappointment. That being said there are some really moving parts of the book that if they were expounded on would have made the blatant ad placements a little less invasive to the reader.
For example, early on in the book Abramson mentions the loss of her long-time companion Buddy. These moments were heartfelt, emotional and real. Another fantastic piece of writing occurs when Abramson talks about her accident that resulted in a steel rod replacing her femur bone in her left leg. The loss of Buddy just a few months before was confounded by the accident making it highly unlikely that Abramson would ever again “give her heart away” to another dog. These moments occurred early in the book and gave promise that we would truly be reading a beautiful memoir about the healing properties of pet ownership. Unfortunately it was not until the end of the book that we are given that beautiful prose again. Another accident in Abramson’s life opens her eyes to the love and dedication Scout has shown her and she in turns realizes how much Scout means to her.
In addition to the brief touching moments there are also a large number of photographs throughout the book. Without the photographs the book would be even less personal and the entire middle of the book would be boring.
In the end I would recommend this book to those who are fans of Abramson’s blog. I am sure if you followed her blog for any length of time the book might have more personal meaning to you as a reader. I would also recommend this book to those who have never owned a dog before as its manual style may give you an idea of the involvement needed to be a dog parent. Words of caution to that type of reader however; take every bit of advice given (from what to buy to how to train) with an open mind. The ideas presented in The Puppy Diaries are only one side (at times she gives you both). Not everyone who is a pet parent will go to such extremes. (less)