In these tight economic times it’s always a challenge to budget…so start cooing more at home and enjoy this new cookbook with outstanding recipes.
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Many have observed that travel sharpens self-awareness. This effect occurs for me with Alice Kaplan's triptych of young women from mid-century America, a compelling history of the transformative effects of a student year abroad in Paris. Because these three influential women--Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis--are from three successive generations and diverse social spheres, a broad picture of the era emerges, exploring women's history and social class mobility and mores. For personal history and feminist history fans, not to be missed.
Padgett Powell is funny and deep and very brave in his recent fiction. His last novel, Interrogative Mood, consisted entirely of questions, sometimes annoying, but more often than not, strangely witty. His new book, You & Me, features two nameless characters conversing, Waiting for Godot style about very little. Brief chapters direct skewed talk at subjects mostly having to do with language, and if you love language as much as I do, Powell's use/misuse of our mother tongue will have you in stitches for the length of the book. Full of jokes and tales that are neither jokes nor tales, but tropes in the southern idiom, that mock and chuckle and tease us always a step ahead of the reader. Pure pleasure.
Gone Girl is one of those books that manages to be a thrilling mystery as well as a searing comment on our media-driven, reality TV-obsessed society. When Amy Dunne goes missing from her home, the number one suspect is, of course, her husband, Nick. The compelling tale is told in the alternating voices of Amy and Nick, the first half of Amy's narration in the form of diary entries. Gone Girl is the story of a marriage gone horribly wrong, presented to us by characters that have very conflicting points of view, and is also a rarity in the fact that, as more light is shed on the mystery, the suspense only rachets up tighter and tighter until the book's heartstopping ending. If only Hitchcock were still around to film it!
Erikson, author of the Malazon Book of the Fallen series, takes us back to the beginning when Mother Dark reigned. Think of this as the Silmarillion for Malazon (he’ll probably hate me saying that). It’s in a different tone than Malazon, but the writing is just as stellar. If you haven’t read the Malazon series, I highly recommend it. It is far superior to Song of Fire and Ice (sorry GRRM fans)(And it’s done, so no waiting for the next book). This is the first in a trilogy.