Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer reading

I've read a couple of books in the past few weeks, which is not something I can often claim these days. My free time is generally claimed by meetings, rehearsals, family time, or television. In the summertime, however, rehearsals are on hiatus, and there are fewer meetings.

One of the books I read was for an online book club. The book was The Washingtonienne: A Novel, and it was a fun, easy, mind-candy read. Sex, sex, sex, along with large portions of alcohol, bitchiness, and mild sociopathology. It's such a quick read (seriously, one day) that you probably still have time to join the book discussion.

Deeper, however, was my other recent read, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. Elizabeth Gilbert, who is about my age, is a very accomplished author. This very personal book details a year of her life in which she takes extreme measure to heal her wounded spirit after a difficult divorce and another heartbreak on its heels.

That book had been on my Amazon wishlist for some time. While it was there, I read a few conflicting reviews of the book. Not that I'm a big believer in reviews, but one rather harsh review suggested that Gilbert's approach was patronizing to the indigenous people of India and Indonesia.

My take: the first couple of chapters didn't pull me into the story very well, but once she gets to Italy, I was hooked. The India section was interesting because of my history with yoga, and it made me think of my friend Christie a lot. I know she would have enjoyed that part of the story. Indonesia, too, was compelling (if memory serves, that's the section that the negative review really took to task...for what it's worth, I don't agree with that part of the review).

I finished the book while I was at the hotel, so I gave it to my mom, along with Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, which I had devoured a year ago, and she had picked up the last time she visited Memphis. She didn't take it with her (accidentally), and I was a good enough daughter to remember it and bring it with me.

I'm up for more reading, so please send your suggestions. I like Anthony Bourdain and Poppy Z. Brite, when it comes to fiction. Well, I like Anthony's nonfiction too. I pretty much like everything about him. And I like reading about food. So suggest, please!!


Lizard Eater said...

Are you a bit twisted?

If so, get How to Cook a Tart by Nina Killham. (Ooh, and it's on sale for 3.99 on Amazon right now.)

It has the best first paragraph ever.

Okay, that's hyperbole. But it's a very funny mystery. With lots of good food.

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