Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Book Review | 0 comments

Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth ReichlTender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

Genre: Memoir
Format: Paperback and ebook
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1998
Pages: 284
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that “food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were.” Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told. Beginning with Reichl’s mother, the notorious food-poisoner known as the Queen of Mold, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and her tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first soufflé, to those at her politically correct table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s. Spiced with Reichl’s infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist’s coming-of-age.

My Thoughts:
One of my friends on LibraryThing has a fabulous culinary arts book list that I periodically browse and add books to my own wish list. I have heard good things about Ruth Reichl’s books so I decided to start with her first.

I really only know Ruth Reichl from her occasional guest judge gigs on Top Chef. I knew she had a good sense of humor and is extremely knowledgeable about food and cooking. Other than that I didn’t know much other than she’s been a food critic and an editor of Gourmet magazine.

This book is about her childhood and early career. She had a difficult relationship with her mother but had other relatives and a family housekeeper who helped build her love for food and cooking.

In the author’s note she says ‘storytelling, in my family, was highly prized”. I enjoyed reading her stories from her fascinating and interesting life. Her travels and adventures are kind of amazing. Her trip to North Africa with a college friend would have terrified me.

Interspersed throughout the book are recipes many of which came from friends and acquaintances. I’m not sure I’d try any of them but there is quite a variety.

I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in 2016, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Graphic Novel | 1 comment

March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with art by Nate PowellMarch: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin with art by Nate Powell

Format: Paperback, Graphic Novel
Series: #3 in the March series
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 250
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

By Fall 1963, the Civil Rights Movement is an undeniable keystone of the national conversation, and as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, John Lewis is right in the thick of it. With the stakes continuing to rise, white supremacists intensify their opposition through government obstruction and civilian terrorist attacks, a supportive president is assassinated, and African-Americans across the South are still blatantly prohibited from voting. To carry out their nonviolent revolution, Lewis and an army of young activists launch a series of innovative projects, including the Freedom Vote, Mississippi Freedom Summer, and a pitched battle for the soul of the Democratic Party waged live on national television. But strategic disputes are deepening within the movement, even as 25-year-old John Lewis heads to Alabama to risk everything in a historic showdown that will shock the world.

My Thoughts:
I cannot recommend this trilogy enough. Even if graphic novels are not something you routinely read I absolutely encourage you to stretch your comfort zone a bit and give it a try. It’s an important story well worth reading.

This is an extremely well done story of the early 1960’s Civil Rights Movement told by one of its key leaders. John Lewis is now a congressman and his story is told with intermissions of him attending Barack Obama’s inauguration. The majority of the story in this volume takes place between the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four little girls and the 1965 Freedom March from Selma to Montgomery.

It’s tough to read at times but given the increasingly vocal racism that has permeated this year’s election season it’s a timely read right now.

The artwork is wonderful. It’s all black and white drawings but the emotions are well portrayed. The violence is a major part of this history and while it’s clearly portrayed enough to be unsettling it’s never too graphic (unlike the real events).

If you have kids this is an excellent nonfiction series in a very accessible format to teach them about the battle for the right to vote.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week October 2016 Edition

Posted by on Oct 16, 2016 in Fun, Ten Things, Weekend Update | 6 comments

Ten Things I Liked This Week October 2016

Ten Things I Liked This Week October 2016

I started doing Ten Things I Liked This Week a while ago and it’s definitely become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are ten things I liked this week:

1. This puppy
Clearly celery is confusing


2. New TV Shows
We usually don’t pick up new TV shows easily but we’ve really been enjoying Deisgnated Survivor, Timeless and This is Us this season.


3. Nora the Polar Bear
She kind of reminds me of Abby.


4. This
So true


5. The Last House Payment
We got the statement this week for the final payment on our house. By the end of the month it’ll be all ours.


6. This dog and goose
Best chase ever


7. The sunrise earlier this week
This was before the storms blew in
Sunrise over Mt. Hood

8. The latest Rogue One trailer
I’m getting excited about this movie


9. My Weekend Plans
The combination of an empty calendar and stormy weather made a perfect excuse to spend the weekend doing a lot of reading.
wine and reading


10. This
It’s old but still pertinent and cannot be repeated enough

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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A Gentleman’s Game by Greg Rucka

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Book Review, Greg Rucka | 0 comments

A Gentleman's Game by Greg Rucka
A Gentleman’s Game: A Queen & Country Novel by Greg Rucka

Genre: Spy Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 335
Source: Library

The Book:
From the publisher:

When an unthinkable act of terror devastates London, nothing will stop Tara Chace from hunting down those responsible. Her job is simple: stop the terrorists before they strike a second time. To succeed, she’ll do anything and everything it takes. She’ll have to kill again.

Only this time the personal stakes will be higher than ever before. For the terrorist counterstrike will require that Tara allow herself to be used as bait by the government she serves. This time she’s turning her very life into a weapon that can be used only once. But as she and her former mentor race toward destiny at a remote terrorist training camp in Saudi Arabia, Tara begins to question just who’s pulling the trigger—and who’s the real enemy. In this new kind of war, betrayal can take any form…including one’s duty to queen and country.

My Thoughts:
I have been thoroughly enjoying Rucka’s comic series Queen & Country. I have often said that fans of Homeland or 24 are predisposed to enjoy the series. For those of you who don’t enjoy comics, Greg Rucka has published three novels featuring the characters from the Queen & Country comics.

From the hall, it looked as nondescript as any other in the building. Inside the outer office, it had desks for not one but three personal assistants. But once one went through and into the inner office, everything changed, as if all pretension to modernity had been rejected in favor of those good old days when spying was deemed a Gentleman’s Game.

This is the first of those novels and it’s pretty good spy fiction. The thing that makes this a little different than the average spy story is that the main character is a woman. She’s a mess. She’s got enough issues to be a full year’s subscription but you still end up rooting for her.

This one is part action adventure and part an exploration of the ugly side of the espionage business. Rucka intersperses the politics behind the missions with the actual action. The story is one that’s still rather contemporary even though the book was written twelve years ago.

This is a book that easily works as a standalone if you aren’t interested in the comic series. I like that Rucka has used both formats in the series and I’m looking forward to continuing the story with the next collected edition of the comics.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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