Sunday Good Reads

by Jacqui

In a few hours, my friend Graeme will be at the door, and he and I will begin cooking a retro themed dinner for a small group of friends. Seems like we’ve been talking about this dinner forever, and now it’s here. I’m super excited about the menu – we’re making mocha granita, fried rice balls, salmon roulade, cranberry ginger cocktails, and lots of other things. We’re making a dessert he’s been telling me about almost since I’ve known him called banoffee. I can’t believe I did, but I bought Spam, which I haven’t tasted since Roseville, Minnesota, on a sandwich, when I was six. It’s going to be a good time.

Have you read anything good lately? I stayed at a farm in Malaysia, and the guy who lives there and hosts travelers recommended a list of books I can’t wait to get my hands on. And here’s what I’ve read lately and really liked:

The Little Prince looks like a children’s book, but it’s appropriate for all ages and especially adults. Originally published in French in 1943 by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and since has been translated into more than 250 languages, about optimism, relationships, and the difference of life through a child’s and adult’s eyes. A quick but thought-provoking read.

Lit is a memoir by a poet and literature professor at Syracuse originally from Texas, Mary Karr, about her relationships with her mother and father, her battle with alcoholism, getting sober, getting married and divorced, and having a son. I’ve never read anything like it. The way she composes sentences and phrases is so gorgeous, each statement could almost stand on its own. I laughed and cried from cover to cover. I can’t wait to read more from her.

How to Pick a Peach is a compendium of seasonal fruits and vegetables, how to choose them, store them, and prepare them. I’ve dogeared so many recipes, like cold spiced cherry soup, cauliflower custard, cornmeal buckle with plums, and applesauce with bourbon, sour cherries, and hazelnuts (I know!!!).

Kafka on the Shore For years I’ve eyed IQ84 and listened to people gush about Murakami without reading any of his books myself. Until I needed a book fast for a trip and found Kafka on the Shore at a nearby used book store in Seoul. I see the hype now.

Ishmael – one of the books from the farm, I read only a third of it before it was time to leave. A man in the story answers a want ad from a teacher looking for a student, and when he gets to the point of location, the teacher is a gorilla who can talk. The man battles with himself about whether or not he should return the next day, but day after day, he does return to learn a valuable lesson only an animal can tell.

Have a great week.

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