It’s been more than three months since I last wrote about anything I’ve read lately. That in-depth “Stigma” review must’ve really taken it out of me.
Here’s a quick run-down of what I’ve read since:
“To the Hilt,” by Dick Francis.
I picked this up from my in-laws’ house, and I remember enjoying it. I didn’t write down anything particular about it, though.
“Longshot,” by Dick Francis.
Also borrowed from the in-laws. I found it slower to get started than “To the Hilt,” but once it picked up it was a more engaging story.
“Thursday Next: First Among Sequels,” by Jasper Fforde.
This series is ridiculous, and I love it.
“How I Learned to Cook,” Kimberely Witherspoon & Peter Meehan (eds).
This is a book of essays by famous chefs, recalling how they were first introduced to the world of food. Except some of them didn’t write about that at all. One thing I learned from this book: Chefs have mighty big egos. Also, I never would’ve guessed that Sara Moulton got her start at a hippie bar in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“The Butterfly Hunters: Adventures of People Who Found Their True Calling Way Off the Beaten Path,” by Chris Ballard.
This book — about people who have found their calling in unusual jobs — was equal parts very interesting and dreadfully boring. I think the concept would be great as a monthly magazine feature.
“Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously,” by Julie Powell.
I don’t know why I was surprised by the Gen-X navel-gazing. This one was based on a blog, after all.
“A Corpse in the Koryo,” by James Church.
I’d read great things about this one, but I was quite underwhelmed.
“Caught Stealing,” by Charlie Huston.
Very well-written, but blurb-writer Harlan Coben certainly had it right. This is a “brutal, visceral” book.
“Six Bad Things,” by Charlie Huston.
This book — and the Hank Thompson trilogy — just keeps getting darker. Relentlessly darker. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle the third book.
“Heat: (An Amateur’s Adventures as a Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany),” by Bill Buford.
Buford’s account of his time working in a Mario Batali kitchen and with various people across Italy left me with three main impressions:
- I now have a more concrete reason for disliking Batali. His clogs-and-shorts wardrobe has always given me the heeby-jeebies. And in the book, he comes across as a conceited, loud-mouthed jerk.
- Buford is living quite the charmed life, apparently able to go for years working for free as he “researches” his books and jetting off to Italy on a whim.
- I’m far too squeamish to work in a restaurant.
Looking back over the list, I’m seeing a theme. Lots of non-fiction, lots of food. I could use some great fiction recommendations. Of course, my days of reading may be coming to a close soon. We’ll see if I’m able to work it in once we become a Toddler-and-Newborn household. Next week. Holy guacamole.