It is rather ironic that, not even forty-eight hours after Ramadan ended, I am sitting here and fighting the urge to lick my fingers - over a graphicIt is rather ironic that, not even forty-eight hours after Ramadan ended, I am sitting here and fighting the urge to lick my fingers - over a graphic novel.
I think the particular beauty of Ramadan, and Relish as well, is that it all rests in being grateful for what you have, and appreciating it more when you have it in front of you. You can have the simplest Iftar and close your eyes in bliss in the first moments of it rolling over your taste buds: a pot of simply served ramen, a few dates and a water bottle.
Like Lucy Knisley, a lot of my fondest reminiscences are interlinked with what I ate at the time. My childhood memories are peppered with wading in the Atlantic Ocean, raising butterflies and numerous trips to the library, as well as my best friend's mom packing a "little" lunch to tide us over during our adventures at the aquarium (fresh parathas and perfectly spiced omelets) and the Carvel ice cream cake that graced my fourth birthday.
(Yes, I do remember. And it was pure, sugary goodness.)
And of course, there are the Eids: fluffy plates of biryani, syrup-soaked gulab jamun lovingly handmade by my uncle's own hands, colorful platters of fruit that are often passed over for slices of Trader Joe's carrot cake and ice cream.
The best moments of the reading experience is when you feel the presence of someone like you behind every word - or at least, somewhat like you.
I definitely can't claim Knisley's lovely, often humorous words or drawings, or her gourmet upbringing; though, I could tell you a lot of interesting facts about growing up Muslim, and how quickly I learned to decipher the back of a food label.
At the heart of Relish, though, is the shared pleasures of eating, of finding new things you like or the comfort of returning to old faithfuls when times are bad - and, of course, celebrating the communal aspects of a good dinner and sharing that experience with friends and family and beloved ones.
It made me miss last year, when, stressed and overtaxed from all sides, I spent hours browsing Foodgawker, discovering that lemon bars may just be my claim to fame and telling myself that one summer, if not that summer, I'd make a peach cobbler.
(It's July. I still haven't baked one. But there's always next summer, right?)
This little jewel of a memoir celebrates the fancier dishes, and the moments when you just need a little salt and grease on your fingers. It's studded with deliciously illustrated recipes and college student angst and a little bit of self-reflection. I'm grateful, I'm inspired, I'm determined to square off some time for kitchen duty during the semester, and I'm hungry.
A month or so ago, on Twitter, I asked out of curiosity if anyone knew whether or not young married girls belonged in YA. The gReader, I skimmed this.
A month or so ago, on Twitter, I asked out of curiosity if anyone knew whether or not young married girls belonged in YA. The general consensus was, "As long as the protagonist is YA-aged and the subject is presented in a way that makes sense for the audience, it goes."
And then, a few people asked me if I had The Young Widows' Club on my radar.
Let me be honest: from the bottom of my heart, I went in wanting to like this. It was a trope I was curious about, it seemed like it had the potential to be heartwrenchingly, touchingly dealt with, and the summary sounded like it'd live up to what it promised.
And I gave it a good old-fashioned try, but...I am just not connecting with it. At all. Compared to what I expected, it feels more like it is exploring the usual element of remarried parent, hating the stepmother for seemingly erasing the mom's memory, wanting to escape from school and live independently...the entire element of a lost marriage, and bereavement, felt like it took a backseat and was altogether forced.
Maybe I'll try this again. It might be just me, and not this book. But I got midway, skipped to the end and had some of my suspicions about where it was heading confirmed...and I think that's it for right now. ...more