While I like good food, I do not consider myself a foodie. And I live in a small town where the Fancy Restaurant is a family style restaurant with a mWhile I like good food, I do not consider myself a foodie. And I live in a small town where the Fancy Restaurant is a family style restaurant with a menu relying heavily on fried food and Stuff Old People Eat. Furthermore, I have never read the NYT. No biggie.
However, I really enjoyed this one. I found all the secrets and disguises involved in getting these reviews to be fascinating.
Reichl opens by expressing her shock that restaurants were watching for her even before her move to New York was official. Then Reichl shares some of her dining experiences, the fun of costuming herself and coming up with persona.
It was interesting to see how she felt about the persona--how they sort of took over at times.
While this experience is not anything I can relate to in my life, I found this book captivating....more
I was drawn to this book after watching the PBS series call the midwife, probably typical for people reading the book for the first time in the US nowI was drawn to this book after watching the PBS series call the midwife, probably typical for people reading the book for the first time in the US now.
Worth's memoir has the feel of a stream of consciousness to it. And while it was detailed, it wasn't minutely detailed. Does that make sense? She covers quite a bit of time, and the stories of many people, I guess it makes sense she can't include EVERY detail.
The book is not really about midwifery and childbirth. What I took away from it was more of the culture of the east end--the poverty, the mores. This is a culture that probably has all but disappeared. Learning about the culture of the times, and the history of the older people Jenny Lee cared for seemed like a gift to those of us who have missed this time of history. Yes, it's good that it is "history," it seems like to honor the people, we should know their stories. I am thankful that Jennifer Worth shared them with us. I found it fascinating.
I want these hours of my life back. And I want mind bleach. "January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her" is aI want these hours of my life back. And I want mind bleach. "January First: A Child's Descent into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her" is about January (Janni then Jani) Schofield's long and rocky road to a diagnosis of schizophrenia and how her parents, (or at least her saintly father) dealt with it.
A couple weeks ago, I saw this family on Dr. Phil. I do not normally watch Dr. Phil. I have a life. But one of my daughters said she had seen about this girl on the internet and I got sucked in to watching it with her.
I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was something hinky about Michael and Susan Schofield. Clearly this couple loves the sound of their voice. And they were clearly uninterested in hearing what Dr Phil had to say, or hearing from other parents of young adults living with schizophrenia who were also diagnosed at a very young age. I couldn't articulate what it was, but these people were very off-putting to me. And since Schofield was ultimately pushing his book, I checked it out from my public library. Praise Jesus I did not waste any hard earned money!
I am not a doctor. Nor do I play one on tv. (ba-du dum) And I have no choice but to embrace Jani's diagnosis of schizophrenia. So I have no argument with that.
But this book is 290 pages of narcissism and emotional masturbation by someone who wears his martyr hat with great pride indeed.
He is the only one who can handle Jani. No one else (including his wife, her mother) understand her! No one else protects her or loves her the way he does. Oh, woe is he! He needs help but no one else can help. Only he can save Jani. No one. No one else.
Then the end of the book, when Jani's school's principal calls and tells him he has to pick her up because she is a danger to herself and the other students, he refuses. Why? Because nobody will help Jani. Huh? You just spent like 250 pages Michael telling us how no one could help! They didn't get it! And now you contemplate abandoning her at school to force them into helping? And he also says why take her home? She would be uncontrolled at home to?? Me! Me! Me!
Interestingly, he also relates stories about their dog, Honey. Honey is some kind of mix. Honey is apparently not well behaved. Schofield tells us how Honey is so "protective" that she cannot be around other people easily. Only he can walk Honey. She barks and snaps and attempts to snap at and bite people. Woe is he! Walking with Jani, Honey and a friend and his autistic son, when Jani flips out, it is a major crisis because ONLY HE can handle Jani and ONLY HE can handle Honey. Do you see the pattern here?
Labels. Labels are a big thing with this guy. Jani's a genius. He's the protector. Everyone else is an idiot. Or regimented. Close minded. He is distrusting of everyone. No one else, with all their experience, might have anything to add to his 6 or 8 years of experience--nevermind that for most of those years, he was sure she was "just" a genius and clearly couldn't see the forest for the trees! The doctors didn't want to help. Or more likely, didn't want to help in the way he wanted them to. If he hadn't been so hung up on labels--especially the ones he had labeled Jani with, I think this journey would have still been a struggle, but not like this. Talk about one getting in one's own way. But because he had already decided about her (and his wife, their friends, the doctors, the hospitals) anything that did not agree with these preconceived notions was obviously wrong.
I could not stand Michael Schofield's wishy washy parenting styles. Let Jani do what she wishes. Accept her "imaginary friends" or "psychoses" as real. Then a few pages later he insists of telling her dogs don't fly or that she hasn't left the room because she needs reality. Poor kid. This guy who really tries to convince us that he is her rock, her ONLY rock, proceeds to show us example after example of how he unstable his parenting was. Or is.
On page 187 he bemoans that his wife, Susan, is convinced she has a mental illness and he doesn't think she has one, or didn't want to think so. Then on page 190--THREE PAGES LATER--he describes how this kid with bipolar disorder and autism, was trying to help Jani. He describes this was one mentally ill kid helping another mentally ill kid. Really? Make up your mind!
In the end, I think this book was about Michael Schofield. And how great he is. And isn't he a rock of a parent. And don't we all admire/feel sorry for/think he's just precious? I can't believe I stuck with it for all 290 pages of self pity, self aggrandizement, self love, self loathing and "Gee, ain't I special?"
I realize parents need to, and must, advocate for their children in situations like these. And that takes some thick skin and perseverance and picking yourself up when you are down. But I feel like seeing him on tv and now reading his book, he is mostly advocating for Michael Schofield.
I don't know. So many people like this book. I think they must be drawn to Jani--a beautiful girl who is a genius and has an IQ of 146 and is schizophrenic. But this book isn't about her. It's about Michael. And after reading the book, I suspect it's always about Michael. ...more
Name dropping, drugs, parties, family and honesty fills Marshall's memoir.
The obvious? As I read this one, I could totally hear Marshall's voice in myName dropping, drugs, parties, family and honesty fills Marshall's memoir.
The obvious? As I read this one, I could totally hear Marshall's voice in my head--the gravely, low pitched, slow, grating voice. And I loved that.
I felt twitchy reading about her drug use in the 80s and the pregnancies that seemed to crop up unexpectedly. Really? A grown woman who gets knocked up more than once by surprise? Wow. I sound harsh. But *I* couldn't relate to that. I just couldn't. And Marshall is very frank about her use of pot, ecstasy an coke. Which I can't relate to.
However, in spite of the above, I feel like I would really like Penny Marshall in real life. She apparently knows EVERYBODY! I would invite her and her brother Garry to the fictional dinner party my husband and I plan filled with famous people we think we would enjoy great conversation with. Marshall can tell a story. "My Mother Was Nuts" isn't this deep emotional gut wrenching memoir. Most revelations are frank, but with little more than surface details. She doesn't spend a lot of time navel gazing here.
But when you look at it in the whole, you can see that Marshall told us quite a lot about her priorities. She isn't bitter. She puts people before things. She puts friendship ahead of being right. Family is key. Her priorities are in the right place. I like her. ...more
You always write reviews and wonder if other people are reading them, right? Well, I do. Not I do wonder, but yes, I do read them. So last week someonYou always write reviews and wonder if other people are reading them, right? Well, I do. Not I do wonder, but yes, I do read them. So last week someone I am friends with read and reviewed "I Remember Nothing." It made me want to read it. Got on line and being to lazy to drive to my library to check out the copy that was waiting on the shelves, I put myself on the waiting list on Overdrive.
This is a quick read from Ephron with assorted random thoughts from her. Some of them are trivial--like how egg yolks really are not bad for you and you really should eat them and a quick "recipe" for her families egg salad. And every once in a while she sneaks something in that is so true and resonates with me. She fills the book with little vignettes about her family and friends that I thin most of us can relate to.
Before she passed away, I would have called this a happy fun book. But now that she's gone, the happy is rather bittersweet. But still good. Very good. Not rocket science, but I don't want to read rocket science right before I go to sleep anyway. ...more
Ok. I admit it. I am a polygamist tv show stalker. At least, I really loved HBO's "Big Love" and when Sister Wives started, I watched. Not religiouslyOk. I admit it. I am a polygamist tv show stalker. At least, I really loved HBO's "Big Love" and when Sister Wives started, I watched. Not religiously, (pardon the pun) but regularly enough.
I am not in a faith that allows for polygamy or even one that used to. But I am not against adults choosing polygamy.
So I'm not against the topic and I've watched the show.
The Brown family opens up as individuals about how they met and married, the relationships between the wives and celebrity. Each wife writes a chapter on each topic. Some times, the wives are open, for example they admit to having difficulties. But are not always forthcoming. For instance each wife admits to have a major fight with Meri about "something" and it taking a long time to fix. There are allusions to organizing the kitchen or parenting, but no real details. Which is fine in real life, but I guess I expected a little more soul searching. I can keep my kitchen organization fights private because I am not a reality tv personality, nor am I writing a book about my marriage and home life.
And let's face it, none of the fights were about how to stack the plates.
It's interesting. I am a reality tv junkie. And afterward someone always complains about the editing. "I'm not really a villain. Mark Burnett just made me look that way." Whatever.
But I found I had a favorite wife in Sister Wives. Okay, twist my arm. It was Christine. I liked her. Then the big plot point of the show became her jealousy over Robyn. And in the book, she fully admits to it and it sounds like she dealt with it in an adult manner. But Meri was always painted to be so nice and stable on the show. But reading the book makes me think she must not be terribly easy to get along with. So the book, gave me a whole new perspective on the characters I saw on TV. So I don't think it really improved my opinions on anyone's character. So I wonder what this book will do to their brand. KWIM?
Long story short, it is an interesting book to those who watch the show. It is more revealing that the show, but not as much as I expected. ...more
I haven't always loved Julia Child. My first real knowledge of her was Dan Ackroyd spurting blood from his hand while admonishing us all, in Child's wI haven't always loved Julia Child. My first real knowledge of her was Dan Ackroyd spurting blood from his hand while admonishing us all, in Child's warble-y voice to "Save the liver!" Basically I was born in 1966 when "The French Chef" is just gaining steam.
But somewhere along the line, I started loving her. So Bob Spitz already had me in the palm of his hand with this book.
Needless to say, with 500 and some pages, it is IN DEPTH. Having read Child's "My Life in Paris," there is a lot of overlap with that book. I feel like most of the overlap was about the writing and publishing of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." So during these chapters of the book, I didn't feel it dragging just a bit. But if it is all new to you, then it won't be the case.
Where I think Spitz brought out tons of new details was regarding "The French Chef." That is new. And fascinating. And funny. And exciting.
Spitz appears to have interviewed tons of people and read diaries, journals and calendars and day planners. So he has details upon details and memories and quotes from people who were there.
The best part, is that he captured Julia's personality and gumption and left me feeling like I know HER rather that just know what she DID.
If you aren't totally smitten with Child, you probably will be after reading "Dearie." But "My Life in France" might be the better choice in that case. But "Dearie" is do detailed it is a much better choice!...more