Saturday, June 12, 2010

Food, books, women

So, I'm thinking about a "reading theme" for myself for the summer. I'll read other stuff, but I was thinking of trying to read several books of a particular type.

I really enjoyed the book Julie and Julia: 356 Days, 524 recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment (and I also loved the movie!) last year. Another one of my favorite books I read last year was I Loved I Lost I Made Spaghetti. And earlier this week I finished The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry and enjoyed it immensely. What do all these have in common? They're memoirs of women who have made some life changes that usually revolve around food, cooking, eating, or all three. For some reason, this particular genre has hugely interested me. I don't know if it's the journeys these women take, if it's all the food, if it's their writing styles, their voices.... I don't know, but I do know that I really like this particular style. I usually enjoy a memoir by a woman (Eat Pray Love seems to be the exception to that rule since I hated that book- yeah, I'm the only woman in the world who hates that book, it seems. So, shoot me!) and I've read several. But the one's about food/ cooking and the woman searching for something in life really speak to me.

I have no desire to go to a cooking school but I do love food. I love to cook and I LOVE to eat. I like to be creative in the kitchen when time and resources allow for such. The food part is always interesting. And life and food always generate some wonderful metaphors and analogies from "Life is like a box of chocolates" to "people are like onions. Keep peeling back the layers.." sort of thinking.

The women who've written the three books I've read so far are pretty smart women, too. I like how they've written their stories, and they don't seem to take themselves too seriously. I also like that all these start at the adult point in their lives. Food may been important to them since they were children or someone in their childhood might have influenced their food love, but these are memoirs not biographies so I like forgoing the long drawn out family stories about food- blah blah blah. I like the here and now, "I am woman, hear me cook" sort of stories.

The one thought that gives me pause is that if I read several more of these books, will I burn myself out? Will I feel as if I've over indulged in this decadent dessert type of reading to the point where I'll be sick? (I said I like food metaphors and analogies.)

I've made a list of titles:
  • Garlic and Sapphires: The secret life of a food critic in disguise
  • Cakewalk: A Memoir
  • Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life
  • Spiced: A Pastry Chef's true stories of Trials by Fire, After Hours Exploits, and What really Goes on on the Kitchen
  • Under the Table: Saucy tales from Culinary School
  • Lunch in Paris: A love story, with recipes
I've always enjoyed books about food. I read several fiction writers who incorporate food in their story lines and characters. It just seems to be something I'm drawn to.

Now I just have to see what the local library has, what Half Price Books has and what I can get ILL and from Amazon. And if anyone here has any of these and wants to share, please let me know!



D-nice said...

Chef and I have talked of me writing a memoir. I even have a tittle "A Chef's wife's life" food helped bring us together, the struggles of being a Chef's wife, and now the struggles of how MS affects being a chef and being a wife.

Maggie said...

You might have 2 books worth of content there! I'd be happy to be your editor! ;)

Go for it!