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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heat - Bill Buford

(An amateur's adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta-maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany)

Sort of an outsider's Kitchen Confidential. After enjoying Tony Bourdain's audiobook so much, Greg found this and got it sent from the US for me. Great read.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read a lot of non fiction.... bit geeky I know, but I enjoy it Embarassed

At present I have just put down the biography of Agatha Christie (in french - I am improving!!! Laughing ) and the biography of Marie Antoinette (in french and english)

Looking for a new pile of books... the Spice story sounds fabulous. Would like to reread 1421 as it is so fascinating, but don't know when it will be back in the library...

Wonderful Madame generously brought me a few magasines from Australia (what a gorgeous person - I loved every minute of her and the Captain's visit). I have been allowing myself one article at a time so I can prolong the pleasure Wink ... The Donna Hay autumn edition will be used quite often over the next few months I think..

Anyway, off to take my sister to Mariage Freres and then to find a new book or two...
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debbie,

A novel called 'Year of Wonders' by Geraldine Brooks is based on a real event.

"It begins with the scent of rotting apples and a flush that looks like rose petals blooming beneath the skin. Then the yellow-purple pustule appears, swelling to the size of a newly born piglet. Eventually it bursts, like a pea-pod splitting open, spewing pestilential pus flecked with spots of rotten skin.

This is what the villagers of Eyam, Derbyshire, condemned themselves to in 1666 when they took the heroic decision to quarantine their plague-infested village and prevent the contagion from spreading further. In 1842, William Wood, a descendent of one of the few surviving families, observed in his history of the village that: "The immortal victors of Thermopylae and Marathon have no stronger claim to the admiration of succeeding generations than the villagers of Eyam; who in a sub lime, unparalleled resolution gave up their lives - yea: doomed themselves to pestilential death to save the surrounding country". "

As the blurb goes. It's a terrific book, right up there with Tracey Chevalier's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'. Check it out.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just started 'The Master and Margarita' by Mikhail Bulgahov and am already totally fascinated. So far it has humor, darkness, political oppression and a fast talking cat named Behemoth. I suddenly feel like I am writing a book report.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everybody,
I just picked up on this thread again and was about to recommend Geraldine Brooks' Year of Wonders, when I noticed that Griffin had already mentioned it. I can remember reading DeFoe's Journal of the Plague Year when I was an undergraduate and being rocked on my heels by it. This book is having the same effect.

Since YoW is on the list already, allow me to highly recommend Brooks' most recent, and absolutely wonderful, novel entitled "March". She creates a real, whole, touching character out of a peripheral character (the father) in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women". One need not know the Alcott book to appreciate it, though it is a special delight to follow the threads in the two works. I am not usually a fan of so-called "sequels" written ages after the initial work and, worse yet, by a different author, but this one is different and wonderful and stands on its own.

And, I'll repeat my recommendation here for Dorie Greenspan's new baking book, "Baking: From My HOme to Yours". I mentioned it in another forum, but perhaps it will get wider attention here. A lovely gift book for a baker on your list this holiday season.

(And, yes, I know my underlines and quotes are all mixed up here, but I couldn't get both to work at the same time!!)[/u]
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well so far I have been very good and not supplied a reading list!! Embarassed

I love literature with a passion (incidentally, as I said to Madame recently, 'Never trust anyone who has no passion for anything.') and the few people who were careless enough to say that they didn't read much... got a reading list!!!

If anyone hasn't read the wonderful stories of Giovanni Guareschi - The little World of Don Camillo, do read them. They are light, funny and sweet without being sentimental.

If anyone ever gets the chance to, try also Anita Loos classic, 'Gentlemen prefer Blondes'.

And there I shall stop... no, honest.
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Sex Life Of Food, by Bunny Crumpacker.

(Everything you wanted to know about food but were afraid to ask!-kidding...)

Its stunningly researched and described, from our first sensation of food in our bellies at birth, to healing foods, the artful seduction of food in the mating rituals worldwide and on, and on, and on... A better read than I had thought. I give Bunny two carrots up!

GREAT THREAD!!!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Jen, beautiful ring, many, many congratulations to you both..

Or should I be saying 'Mazeltov!" ??

So, is Bunny Crumpacker his/her real name? It's a classic!

I'm reading Julie and Julia, which I think has been mentioned before. Great read. Julia Child isn't very well-known in Australia, and wasn't when she was popular, but I did manage to find an old copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking recently. I'm not really inspired to cook anything out of it, perhaps because I'm up to the 'Things en gelee' part of the book and the descriptions of making gelee are a bit too olfactorily offputting.

It's a good read.
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks flung in various directions for reviving this thread and for recommending the novel based on Louisa May Alcott & her books. I had forgotten about seeing that and do wish to read it.

Just finished two Maisie Dobbs mysteries, set primarily in London after WWI, featuring a bright heroine who has risen through the social ranks as young men begin to do at this point in history from maid to nurse to detective, haunted by the tragedy of that war. Well written, if not quite as fully ensconced in time and place as the 19th-C settings of Anne Perry.

A friend gave me a copy of The World of Pi and I am going back and forth between it and The Master by Colm Toibin before I settle on which one goes first. A number of you have read the first, I believe. I know the punch line, but still am a little unsure I want to deal with the tension of the tiger in the boat. The latter is somwhat in the vein of the book on the Marches, taking Henry James as the protagonist. Not as stuffy as that sounds. Griffin, it strikes me as your type of novel.

Now, has anyone read Saturday? I haven't touched Ian McEwan's books and feel I ought to by now. This sounds the most interesting.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday is good. I listened to it as an audiobook
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judy and gang,

Yes you may Mazel Tov us all you wish! Thank you for your great blessing!

And yes, (eyes rolling in disbelief), I am afraid the authoress really did slap that name on her book, and I had reservations when I plucked the book off the shelf in a book-buying frenzy. I was delighted to find out that she ain't leading the reader on a bunny trail full of little black jellybeans- it really was worth a read!

I started Julie and Julia but I had to put it down for another time. I have the History of French Gastronomy on deck for after the Chick-Lit-Influenza reading marathon ends.

Brian has waved The Master and Margarita in my face all week, stating that its his ultimate favorite book...this from a man who made sure we had a library room in the new house. Thats an endorsement I can't ingore once I can see straight again! Erin, keep me posted on how you are liking it as you continue to read!
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"My Mother's Wedding Dress" by Justine Picardie

absolute heaven ...fashion in print...font fashion...am having a ball...thanks to JP I now know why Karl Lagerfeld speaks so quickly...when he was little, his mother told him he had to speak quickly ...

and such an exquisite cover...seems there are two versions..I much prefer the one on my copy...if you're interested..google "my mother's wedding dress"..then click 'images'...first image is the cover I adore...every so often I turn to gaze at it...while reading...

at the moment I'm wearing a black t-shirt with "so many books so little time" on the front...

delicious thread...wondrous to be back....'n Debbie 'n Griffin are as scrumptious chocolates!..
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deste,

Thanks, I will get hold of The Master and have a go at it. I'm not overly keen on Henry James, myself tho'. For some reason, I just can't seem to get into anything by him. I will wait awhile and try again some time. I haven't read anything by Toibin tho'.

Knifethrower,

I agree, I love the idea of a library in the house... like all those old novels where visitors are interviewed in the library... and then there is the terrible destruction of Lord Sepulchrave's library by the malevolent Steerpike in 'Titus Groan' the first of the Gormenghast trilogy. Which reminds me, I haven't re-read that in a long while...hmmm!

My 'library' consists of books in three main categories: reference, myth & folklore, poetry and plays, fine and decorative arts and fiction. I am an utter bookaholic. In fact I cannot enter a book, chocolate or shoe shop without a responsible adult having a firm grip on my coat collar... sigh!

I am about to read a book called 'Silk', which I got from the library. If it's as good as it looks, I shall have to buy it. Along with the other books I want to buy...!

If anyone hasn't, try Boris Akunin's 'The Winter Queen' a 19th century Russian detective novel, one of a series... there's a new one out... and naturally I want it... along with the other... well you get the idea!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved The Master---Toibin is a genious--if The Master doesn't work for the reader I urge them to try The Blackwater Lightship by Toibin.

I'm into light reading at this time. Just finished the delightful mystery Stain of the Berry by the ever effervecent Anthony Bidulka (okay okay he is a dear friend and Dick and I are mentioned in the acknowledgements) This is Tony's fourth Russell Quant mystery, a Private Investigator based in my home town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Currently I'm reading a collection called Paws and Reflect (exploring the bondbetween gay men and their dogs) but i can't say it has been terribly inspired or inspiring!
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Deste



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 307
Location: Far, far away

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David: Good to know you liked THE MASTER.

Griffin: Don't bother with the book. I assumed you would be a fan of Henry James.


Last edited by Deste on Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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