Thanks to Goodreads friend Jim for recommending the book Larry Loves San Francisco!. My library didn't have that book, a board book, but I was able to...moreThanks to Goodreads friend Jim for recommending the book Larry Loves San Francisco!. My library didn't have that book, a board book, but I was able to borrow this one.
The book's cover says 3 & up, but I'd recommend it most for slightly older kids. Kids who are beginning independent readers might get the most out of it.
There is a fairly good tour of San Francisco landmarks so it's a good book for children who live in San Francisco or who have visited/will visit San Francisco, and it's especially good for boys named Pete or Larry.
Even though I wasn't concerned about how things would end up, I had a hard time thoroughly enjoying this story about a lost dog on his own. When I had my dog, one of my big fears was she'd get off her leash and go running and be missing. But, that's me. Kids might be able to simply enjoy the adventure and the sights.(less)
Well, it’s been a couple decades since I’ve bothered to read any but 100% vegan cookbooks (given that there are many hundreds and probably over 1,000...moreWell, it’s been a couple decades since I’ve bothered to read any but 100% vegan cookbooks (given that there are many hundreds and probably over 1,000 of them) but the cover of this book just called to me.
I figured that almost all desserts are now easily veganized, and I love art. This book is on my San Francisco bookshelf because it’s very San Francisco, particularly as regards our modern art museum, local bakeries/eateries, etc. etc.
Well, as the recipes are presented, much to my surprise they’re not easily made vegan, though it would be very, very easy to make vegan recipes that look exactly like these. Even with those (for me necessary) changes, these take too much work, and many hours/even days. Re the recipes: some require TONS of heavy cream and just egg yolks or just egg whites. Experienced vegan bakers would know what to do, but I wouldn’t.
I enjoyed the book as an art book. There is some good information and photos about the artists, their lives and work.
The highlight of the book for me turned out to be the cake on the cover, and it is fun.
The rest are hit & miss, though all were creative. These desserts mimicking art remind me of the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco annual Bouquet to Arts festival, where floral artists create floral arrangements that mimic/reflect art pieces in the museum(s). As with that exhibit, the desserts I enjoyed most here were those that most closely showed the art, with the possible exception of Thiebaud's cakes, which simply copied them, and so didn't strike me as that creative, but paired up with the art are rather striking. Some good ones of Diebenkorn's work.
There are many fun extras such as San Francisco photos, and instructions for making your own sea salt, etc. etc.
Anyway, as a cookbook, I can’t recommend it. As a book to give bakers/cooks/artists ideas of how to make artistic foods and to use art to make other creative things, it’s an enjoyable resource. As a fun novelty, well, it was fun.
For artists and particularly bakers/cooks, it might give them some ideas, and vegan bakers and cooks, including some who’ve written many of my favorite cookbooks, I’d love to see some of what they might glean from this. I’d love to see (and eat) what they might create from ideas they’d get from this book.
5 stars for the cover and the premise. 3 ½ stars for some of the included information about the original art & artists, 2 ½ stars for the background information about this book, 1 star for the actual recipes, and not just because I’m vegan and wouldn’t eat any of them, though if I wasn’t vegan, honestly, I might give them 2 stars or even 3.(less)
I loved this book. The stories are marvelous. They’re exceptional. They’re incredibly deftly written. Each story is a gem, as is the entire narrative....moreI loved this book. The stories are marvelous. They’re exceptional. They’re incredibly deftly written. Each story is a gem, as is the entire narrative.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it wasn’t a comfort read for me. In fact, all my hypochondriac tendencies and fears about my future health status were activated, but I loved the stories anyway, despite feeling sad, infuriated, and especially really scared at times while reading. It greatly helped that the compassionate nature of the writer continually shines through the pages.
I haven’t enjoyed a short story book as much since I read How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer. Although I’ve always enjoyed reading essays, but my usual preference is to read novels and full-length non-fiction books rather than short stories and books of short stories. However, these are intersecting stories, with characters that sometimes make appearances in different stories. The stories also somehow feel as if they’re part of one story, and in general they do follow a timeline, from young to old, from students to experienced medical doctors. The whole thing worked really well. I thought the stories fit together so well even before I got to the last story, and that last story solidified the job of tying all the stories together.
These stories are published as fiction but all along they read as truth to me, and the last story makes clear that each does have a huge non-fiction component. That’s why this book is on so many of my apparently contradictory shelves.
I love the quote that starts the book: “If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth.” (It’s by Tim O’Brien from How to Tell a War Story. I can’t find that book at Goodreads but I probably wouldn’t add it to my favorite quotes anyway, even though I really like the quote and it definitely fits this book.) One of my big quibbles with medicine, ever since I was aware, from eleven years old on, is the dishonestly. When it comes to medical matters I value honesty above all else. (I recently took a continuing education class about end of life care and was tempted to write a long rant in the feedback section to their contention that what is most important when treating a patient is hope. Not for myself it isn’t; it’s honesty.) I appreciate that she has worked in palliative care.
I loved the San Francisco settings. I could identify most of them and am familiar with some of them. I always enjoy books that I can put on my san-francisco shelf. This book makes wonderful use of the city, its medical facilities but also many other places.
I really appreciated how skillfully the relationships and communications and miscommunications were explored, from cross-cultural, to supervisor-supervisee, doctor-patient, between lovers and between friends, between group members, etc.
As I read these stories I couldn’t help but be aware of the following of my feelings/beliefs: Don't get sick. Don't get disabled. Don't get old if not in perfect health, and be wealthy, not poor. And perhaps: Don’t go into medicine, or be careful it’s your true calling if you do. I have physicians in my family and I’ve watched many in the process of dying, so I’d already thought a great deal about these matters, but reading this book has caused enough of a shift that I think I’ll be looking at death & dying and doctor-patient relationships slightly differently.
I’m always impressed by and frequently enjoy writing by physicians. On the back inside cover of the book, in the bio section, it says that “She is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she cares for older patients and directs the Northern California Geriatric Education Center and UCSF Medical Humanities.” She probably couldn’t have written this exact book without her medical training and practice, but it reads as a book written by a true writer, and I hope she writes and publishes more work. I’ll read it if she does.(less)
Lisa Lutz is becoming like Sue Grafton to me, as each new book feels like settling into a comfortable and familiar place, and in Lutz’s case, a really...moreLisa Lutz is becoming like Sue Grafton to me, as each new book feels like settling into a comfortable and familiar place, and in Lutz’s case, a really amusing one.
Unfortunately, Lisa no longer lives in San Francisco, but thankfully the Spellmans still do.
I wasn’t expecting that, on the 2nd to last page (do NOT look ahead!) but it makes 100% sense to me. By the way, speaking of not looking ahead: About 1/3 the way through the book I did read the appendix. After all, us readers keep getting invited to do that, so I usually do it sometime as I'm still reading, and this time I saw something I might rather not have seen (a spoiler.) I was fine with what's was coming though. But, my advice is (for this book) to not accept the frequent invitations to read the appendix before you finish reading the book.
I think this might be my favorite Spellman book, though they all have their charms. It’s wonderful to read a series where the books actually improve rather than deteriorate. What was so unique remains so clever and still feels fresh and just as funny and heartfelt as ever. I love the characters, both the old and some of the new.
I love that I was taken by surprise at times, which was really fun. And, even more than most series, readers HAVE to read these books in order in order to get the characters and fully appreciate them. Well, maybe not every reader does, but it’s imperative for me.
I love this author and this series. I found this book so satisfying. It was a perfect comfort read for me. I laughed and smiled a lot, and felt deeply too. I can’t wait for the next one. There had better be a next one.
If you’re a reader who enjoys reading about unique dysfunctional families, and you like really quirky, very humorous novels, I highly recommend these books.
ETA but not to feed again so as to not annoy those who've already read this review:
I appreciate how this author respects the reader and trusts them to remember her characters and their names. Once she introduces them, she doesn't overuse/repeat the full name, and gleefully uses nicknames. I love it!
I don't feel like editing/adding, but it's important to note that each book has serious things in it too, and this one in particular had a couple very serious (one could say sad) plot points. So, while I laughed and smiled a lot, I got kicked in the gut a bit too.
I just read that Lisa Lutz doesn't want to write more books in this series. I hope she changes her mind. She's brought me so much pleasure that I certainly want her happy, not unhappy. But I'd sure miss the Spellmans if this book is the last. At some point I'd have to do a 1-6 reread!(less)
This was another of the top notch Patricia Polacco books. It says it’s a companion book to The Keeping Quilt, and it is, but it can be thoroughly enjo...moreThis was another of the top notch Patricia Polacco books. It says it’s a companion book to The Keeping Quilt, and it is, but it can be thoroughly enjoyed as a standalone book. It’s one of the Polacco books that has brought me close to tears. It’s the story of her family history told via a tea set and one of its cups, as the Jewish family goes from Russia to the U.S. and through the U.S. I love how the Loma Prieta 1989 earthquake that affected the San Francisco Bay Area plays a pivotal role. Both Polacco and I experienced that quake firsthand. Way to put a positive spin on what others might consdier a loss caused by that quake!! Re the pictures: I loved these illustrations. I love the judicious use of colors, the very colorful miniature pictures on the end pages, the expressiveness shown in the depictions of the people, everything. Usually my favorite part of Polacco’s books is her stories but in this book, I equally loved the story and the paintings. Both are remarkably conveyed. As a lifelong atheist (AND more recent apatheist as well) at the beginning all the mentions of God were a tad annoying, but the family’s story and history grabbed me quickly and the presence of God and blessing and other religious mentions ended up being fine with me. I do wish I had such a rich and known family history and present as the author-illustrator does. Reading the book left me feeling both uplifted and melancholy, but mostly I was smiling. Recently, Polacco has come out with a book every spring and every autumn and I’m excited that another book is out at around the same time as this one, and I’m reading Gifts of the Heart asap. I’ll then be caught up with reading Polacco’s books. Two more are in the pipeline for future publication. I’m excited. I hope she comes out with new books for many more years. Posted as a subjective opinion and hopefully as useful information for other readers.(less)
I have a too long recommended for list for the recommend to field. I can heartily recommend this book to 9 to 13 year olds (and those young at heart)...moreI have a too long recommended for list for the recommend to field. I can heartily recommend this book to 9 to 13 year olds (and those young at heart) who enjoy historical fiction stories and/or speculative fiction time travel stories, kids who are going through or have gone through divorce or another loss, who are ambivalent about change and/or growing up, who have an interest in San Francisco and/or San Francisco history, have enjoyed any books by Mark Twain, who are looking for a terrific friendship story, who are having any kind of rough time whatsoever, who are interested in history in general and curious about the future, who are introspective, and anyone who enjoys a wonderful story.
I loved this book. The only thing that felt a little odd to me were some of the interactions between Joan and Lee, but I got used to their communication style and it ended up working well for me.
I loved the creative chapter titles, containing multiples words/phrases that give information about chapter content to come.
I loved the ingenious time travel aspects, and Mark Twain, especially the Tom Sawyer material, and especially Samual Clemens the man. What a hoot to have him in this story in this way. I love the glimpses of old San Francisco; they were very enlightening. I liked all the characters and their relationships.
The story is so, so creative. The premise is great, and its fruition worked, at least for me.
I particularly liked the San Francisco setting, the main reason I got to the book as quickly as I did, present (2012) and past(s) and possible future. Great fun! I love recognizing so many places. Oh, and the other main reason I got to this book is because I loved another book by this author: The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop.
I’m saddened and perplexed that of the 10 copies at the San Francisco Public Library, 9 of them for lending, 1 of those borrowed by me, that 5 are on the shelf, available. Today’s San Francisco kids, both sexes, all races, especially those 9 through 13: read this! All copies should be checked out, with a reserve queue. Perhaps many kids/families have purchased this. I have seen copies in local independent bookstores.
4 ½ stars, 5 stars from my younger self
This book would have been ideal for me when I was 11-12, after the death of my mother.
It would make a fine bibliotherapy book for kids who are struggling with any loss or change.
I’d like to see it in many households, and all school libraries and children’s hospital libraries.
It might be a good choice for reluctant readers too, depending upon their interests.
And, look at all the bookshelves I was able to use for this book!
Thanks to Goodreads’ friend Gundula. I guess I originally found this because of your shelving of it. Now, it’s your turn to read it!(less)