After we moved, one of our first ventures outside of the house involved a trip to our new library. I’m so thankful for another great local library, which I consider essential for my sanity. They have a great kids’ section, and they have a wide range of selection for me. I grabbed these books first, and I’m still reading a couple, too.
Paris in Love by Eloisa James: This is a collection of essays, but more a collection of Facebook and Twitter posts – intermingled with a few more lengthy pieces – of the author’s year in Paris. James makes her experiences come to life in the ordinary, everyday indulgences of a sabbatical in Paris, complete with hilarity from her children, her Italian professor husband and her mother-in-law who coddles the family’s fat chihuahua, Milo. Some think it might be annoying to read all about food or museum visits or places to buy lacy undies in Paris, but I thought it was super fun. I mean, we are talking about Paris, and hasn’t everyone dreamed of being a college professor simply for the fun of going on sabbatical? Not everyone? Just me?
Bossypants by Tina Fey: Tina Fey is every girl’s best friend. She’s straight up, brutally honest about life and herself. She’s self-deprecating, generous, humble, and she’s full of great stories and experienced-life kind of wisdom. I loved especially her letter to God concerning her daughter, life lessons from Improv, and her growing up stories. I also love how much credit she gives to those who surround her. She gives “Best of” shout-outs to her writers at 30 Rock, highlighting their best episodes and jokes. (PS. If you get bothered by sailor-talk, you might want to stay away. I’m not bothered by sailor-talk, especially when it’s used in a way to make coffee shoot out my nose.)
Tara Road and Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy: Binchy, a prolific writer from Ireland, just recently passed away, and I had never read any of her novels. Our new library has several, and I have enjoyed reading two of them so far. I love how she takes her time developing her characters, and I like how she creates community out of a diverse and interesting mix of people and backgrounds. Though her plot is rather lacking in speed or action, the leisurely pace of her writing gives the reader a sense of belonging on the block with the rest of the cast.
Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton: This is a recently published memoir I’m working on reading right now. Gabrielle Hamilton offers insight into the life of a chef, from her beginning exposure to food and its preparation in her mother’s kitchen, to her dependence on her upbringing as she tackled life on her own in the midst of dealing with divorced parents, essential abandonment, some drug usage and poverty. The book then walks us through her two years in Michigan as a grad student, trying her hand at writing and then the exciting beginnings of running her own restaurant. I only recommend this book if you find the food industry intriguing. I could see how people who don’t love food would get bored with it.
(Click on the pictures to link to Amazon.com. I have an affiliate store there, so if you buy these books, I get a little money, too.)