As a lover of food memoirs, culinary news and food in general, Laura Shapiro’s nonfiction What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories has been on my TBR since it’s release two years ago. I have been meaning to do a review-recipe series on it for far too long, and that day has finally come! This post is the first in the series, so I’ll give a brief overview of the book before diving into the first woman’s story.
As the blurb says, “everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to people’s attitudes toward food.” Those of you who enjoy food memoirs like me know that, while food plays an important part in the storytelling, those memoirs are rarely just about food. They are about the human experience. So much insight can be drawn from not only what people eat, but how and why.
I’ve read a lot more books so far this year than I expected to, and I’m happy to report I’m halfway done with the Book Challenge by Erin (which I’m taking at a more normal pace than I did last time). I still haven’t read my first book for the Reading Women Challenge, but I’m hoping to remedy that with this month’s TBR.
Here’s a look at what I read over the last month and what I’m reading right now.
Prior to Victoria Schade’s Life on the Leash, I’ve suffered through two 1-star dog-centric reads.* Thank goodness this light-hearted rom com of a novel has broken my mini-streak of disappointing books about dogs!
Cora is the owner of a successful dog training business in D.C. She loves filling her days with tricks, treats and training before coming home to her own loveable pup and an amazing supportive roommate. In growing her business (and smarting from a painful breakup), Cora isn’t exactly looking for love.
I’ve been in a little bit of a book rut the past few days, reading the same book for over a week now. It’s a perfectly good book (The Wangs vs. the World), but for some reason it’s slow going. Plus, you know, life sometime gets in the way; as much as I’d love to, I can’t constantly have my nose stuck in a book. Anyway, in making this list, I’m excited for the new books on the horizon, and I’m hoping it will kick me into gear. Once I finish this read, there’s so much to look forward to!
I recently heard about John Marrs’ novel The One on the Currently Reading podcast, in an episode about “Books to Blow Your Socks Off.” (The episode was also amazing because it included an interview with Delia Owens, who wrote a wonderful recent favorite of mine, Where the Crawdads Sing.) The description was brief but intriguing, and I immediately rushed to get a copy from the library.
It takes place in a “near future,” one in which it has been discovered that people can be matched to their soulmates through their DNA. It’s 10 years after that discovery, and those who have been lucky enough to find “the one” are considered Matched and those who are still waiting are Unmatched. Because you can be matched to literally anyone, racism, homophobia, and religious and other prejudices no longer exist.
Ever since Julie & Julia hit theaters 10 years ago, it has been one of my favorite movies. Until recently, I had never read the book it was based on. Julie Powell’s memoir Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously is based on the year she spent cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child’s legendary cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogging about it. Perhaps you can see why I love the story so.
Not much over the course of Julie’s memoir was surprising to me, though certainly elements of it had been left out of the more streamlined movie (also paired with Julia’s life story, where Meryl Streep plays the iconic chef). I have to say, though, the book lacked the charm with which the movie nestled into my heart.
Apparently 2019 is the year where I get my days discombobulated and totally miss the first Show Us Your Books of the year. Oops! But my post is here — better late than never — and it’s my first time participating in Quick Lit from Modern Mrs. Darcy as well. I’m definitely looking forward to sharing my mini reviews with more readers 🙂
As always, here’s a look at what I read over the last month and what I’m reading right now.
It’s time for the first Top Ten Tuesday of 2019, and I’m super pumped about this week’s topic, which lets me gush about all the brand new books that are being released in the first half of the year. Spoiler alert: I couldn’t pick just 10, so check out my honorable mentions at the bottom.
When I went to the library recently, the brightly colored cover of Allie Rowbottom’s Jell-O Girls caught my eye. I took it down to flip through it, and the blurbs proclaiming it as “an artfully crafted feminist excavation of an American legacy” and “an important and honest feminist history for right now” sealed the deal.
The book is part family memoir and part nonfiction. In turns, it focuses on Allie’s family history and the so-called “curse” that plagued their men — the family’s fortune earned when her great-great-great-uncle bought the patent for Jell-O for just $450 in 1899 — as well as Jell-O’s history through a feminist lense.
A new year means new books! And, though I had a great bookish 2018, I couldn’t be more excited to start fresh. Together with the ladies over at Literary Quicksand, I set a couple of bookish goals for 2019, and a few of the books on my TBR list this month are sure to help me get off to the right start.