June 18, 2013

Guavas and flypaper.

Oh, that heavenly smell of a new book...Why can't they bottle that scent?  Anyway, on my way to… I was talking to a delightful woman in a bookstore and asked her if she had any recommendations.  She led me through the shelves, picked up these books, hugged them to her chest professing her love. Okay, sold.  Books (aka flypaper) that a passionate bookseller hugs are good with me.  

Better Than Fiction by Lonely Planet.  Okay, yes, I'm a bit biased.  But this anthology is great!  Joyce Carole Oates, Isabelle Allende, Tea Obrecht, Alexander McCall Smith...  Top notch fiction writers writing about a favorite subject: travel.  I love anthologies, and this is a great one to read on the road or for giving to the traveller in your life.  Perfect for reading in short spurts or cover to cover.  And pssst...don't overlook the Travel section in the bookstore - there are wonderful treasures to be found, and tons of inspiration to be had!

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Glory be, look at that cover.  It's gorgeous!  Historically inaccurate and wrong for the time in which the book is set, but still.  And if you know me, you know I love Paris and all the ex-pats, and I've always been fascinated with poor Hadley Hemingway, the starter wife of, Ernest (and mother to Bumby. Bumby!)  And I wasn't disappointed.  The book captures the time period…and goodness, look at that cover!
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.  I have a kind of silly criteria, but one in which I firmly believe:  I tend to judge famous people on whether or not I would like to have dinner with them.  As for Caitlin Moran, I want to sit next to her at a dinner party, talking about ideas, music, books, and sipping something delicious.  After I got past the very British colloquialisms and slang, I plowed through it, loving the ride.  She is so refreshing, and a new voice for feminism which I think is desperately needed.  After seeing many young women in the past few years claim that they aren't feminists, it has been making me (and  friends) think that there needs to be a bit of an overhaul for the movement-we can't have scary, angry women frightening women away.  The anger is good, but it's time for change.  Simply stated: Do you have a brain and do you want to be in charge of it?  If you said yes to both, congratulations! You’re a feminist.  Caitlin Moran is funny and totally herself.  Thank you.

Ohhh Guava. If you have been privileged enough to visit Barbados (or the Caribbean) and have a taste of their homemade guava cheese you know how delicious it is. If you have not, then you must be wondering what the heck Guava cheese is. It is a Caribbean Candy which is no less than divine. This Pomegranate colored sugary treat may just be the sweetest part (literally) of your meal; the tart and bold flavor of the guava is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the, well, sugar. Guava cheese is the perfect dessert if you just want that little sweet bite after a meal or a sweet something to snack on during the day.

Chance is a good librarian and the encounters she allows don’t follow any preconceived order or method. So it happens that, through my wanderings I remember some encounters and forget others, much as happens when browsing through my library. And the connections between these encounters weave and interweave, and form patterns that I can’t fully see or be conscious of. But they are there. So when a subject comes up in my mind, some of these interweavings, a few of these meetings are brought to mind, and then the subject is illuminated by memory. Unfortunately, as I grow older, the memories are fewer and far between…

I am reading...

  • scribble, scribble, scribble, Simon Schama
  • Julia's Cats, Patricia Barey and Therese Burson
  • London, Edward Rutherfurd
  • I'll Drink to That, Betty Halbreich