Hello, again.. seems like it's been a while. Between a full house and computer issues, this blog has been sadly neglected over the past couple of weeks. On the bright side, it looks like I may end up with a new laptop before the end of the week and, thankfully, my reading has been a lot more satisfying.
Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman
Lesson learned: It's good to lighten things up periodically.
by Durian Sukegawa, translated byAlison Watts
"Sweet Bean Paste is a moving novel about the burden of the past and the redemptive power of friendship."This lovely novels focuses on the relationship between a young man and an old woman, both on the fringes of society. Sentaro has a criminal past and works in a small pastry shop selling dorayaki, a Japanese pancake filled with sweet bean paste. Tokue, an elderly woman with disfigured hands and a mysterious past, makes the most delicious sweet bean paste Sentaro has ever tasted. She talks him into hiring her and a friendship blossoms. At just over 200 pages, this short novel will touch your heart. A 2015 movie adaptation, Sweet Bean, is available from my library and I plan to watch it sometime this week.
by James Baldwin, narrated by Bahni Turpin
"In this honest and stunning novel, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a 19-year-old girl in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin's story mixes the sweet and the sad."Originally published in 1974, this achingly beautiful novel is still just as relevant today. It made me angry, it made me sad, and yet it touched my heart, too. Baldwin's writing is like nothing I've experienced and Bahni Turpin's brilliant narration made the story even more powerful.
Have you read James Baldwin? Can you recommend any of his other books? I'm adding this one to my favorites shelf.
by Ann Hood
"From her Italian American childhood through singlehood, raising and feeding a growing family, divorce, and a new marriage to food writer Michael Ruhlman, Ann Hood has long appreciated the power of a good meal... Hood tracks her lifelong journey in the kitchen with twenty-seven heartfelt essays, each accompanied by a recipe (or a few)."Reminiscent of Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, this is a compilation of essays focused around food and family, each featuring a recipe or two. Hood and I are of about the same vintage and many of her childhood experiences mirror my own... the large Italian-American family, Sunday dinners with copious amounts of sauce and meatballs, riding in the "way back" of the family station wagon, all the extended family, and all the food! We also used the same cookbooks as young adults and later as emerging cooks.
This is the second book by Ann Hood I've read this year and I enjoyed it almost as much as Morningstar: Growing Up With Books. I'd like to try Hood's fiction next. Where should I start?
So that's my reading for the last couple of weeks. Have you discovered any great books?
I'll be back tomorrow to share what I'm reading now.