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Archive for the ‘Non-Fiction’ Category

My sister once told me that she keeps a journal listing three things for which she was thankful from each day.  I’ve never had the discipline to do this, but I admire her ability to focus on the positive.  In an effort to emulate her (see – big sisters can copy little sisters sometimes!), I thought I would list some things from the past several days that have brought me joy and excitement.

Lipstick Jihad

  • My copy of Lipstick Jihad arrived in the mail on Thursday.  This was a contest win from Teresa at Shelf Love.  I’ve had this book on my list for some time and I can’t wait to read it.

Carbon Leaf

  • R and I went to a Carbon Leaf concert on Friday night.  This is one of R’s favorite bands, and I’ve happily tagged along to their shows for as long as we’ve been together.  They put on a great show and I can honestly say that their lead singer has my favorite ‘lead singer voice.’

Cherry frozen yogurt

  • I made a delicious Cherry and Chocolate Stracciatella Frozen Yogurt.  My fingers are still stained from pitting the cherries, but it was totally worth it.
  • R and I had Sunday Supper at Restaurant Eugene.  We wanted something celebratory and RE delivered!  The grits with my entree were so good, I was nearly inspired to turn in my Yankee Membership Card and declare myself a born-again Southerner.  Nearly.
  • I found out that I won a contest on More Than Burnt Toast, which means I get to try three yummy sounding spice mixes from Made With Love Delectable Edibles.  I’ll definitely be posting the results of these spice tastings!
  • Lunch today was a group outing with the entire legal department.  It really was lovely to have lunch with everyone, especially as I’m nearing the end of my time with them.

Interpreter of Maladies

  • Two books were waiting for me when I got home tonight!  I received Interpreter of Maladies – one of my all-time favorite books – through Swaptree.

The Last Queen

  • I also (finally) got a copy of The Last Queen using an Amazon gift certificate.
  • After a nearly two-month blogging hiatus, one of my favorite bloggers ever is back!  I’m slightly embarrassed by how excited I was to see Orangette‘s name back in my Reader.  And I’m thrilled that I don’t have to keep going back to her old Bon Appetit articles for a bit of her writing.  (Although her blueberry scones from the July issue were well worth the re-read – these were delicious and easy.  Make them.  Trust me.)

Proximidade

  • Finally, Avis at she reads and reads awarded me the Proximidade Award.  Thanks so much!!  This is my first ever blogging award, and I’m thrilled about what it stands for:  “This award invests and believes in proximity—nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.”  I haven’t had a chance yet to think about who to nominate in turn, but I will do so soon!

I just realized that everything here is somehow connected to food or books.  Oh my.  I suppose that says a lot about me!

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I’m not a big movie person.  In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I saw a movie in the theater.  If I watch a movie, I prefer to do so at home, in my jammies, cuddled up with my husband.  But several book-to-movies are coming out this summer that might make me re-think that preference, because I don’t know that I can wait for the DVD version of a couple of these!

My Sister's KeeperMy Sister’s Keeper – Opens June 26.  This is the first Jodi Picoult book I read (and the last one I really enjoyed).  R and I actually fought over the copy we were both trying to read, because we both got so hooked on it.  Plus, any movie that can create even a tenuous connection with 30 Rock (through Alec Baldwin) has my vote!

My Life in France

Julie and Julia – Opens August 7.  I just finished reading (and loving) Julia Child’s memoir, on which half of this movie is based.  Although I haven’t read the book on which the other half is based, Julie and Julia, this movie still looks really appealing to me.  Based on the trailer, Meryl Streep has nailed Child’s unique speech and habits, and I bet this one is going to be really cute.

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife – Opens August 14.  I absolutely adored this book.  It took me through an entire range of emotions, and I loved every page of it.  I’m doubtful that any movie could do this novel justice, but I’m willing to give it a shot.  If only they would get their marketing act together and put up a website or even a trailer already…

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My Life in France

Title: My Life in France

Author: Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme

Published: 2006

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

Rating: 4.5 of 5

My Life in France combined many of my favorite things in one enchanting package – books, food, wine, and travel.  Before her death, Julia Child spent several months telling Alex Prud’homme all about the experiences that made her ‘Julia Child.’  Prud’homme compiled her tales into this memoir, retaining her unique tone and matter-of-fact attitude.

Child did not begin learning how to cook until her mid-thirties.  After she and her husband Paul moved to France, she launched herself into learning everything she could about classic French cuisine.  Pursuing her new-found passion with single mindedness and intensity, Child eventually met two Frenchwomen who invited her to co-author a French cookbook for Americans.  After years of dedicated ‘cookbookery’ and some amusing brainstorming (would Method in Cuisine Madness or The Witchcraft of French Cooking have done as well, I wonder?), the now infamous Mastering the Art of French Cooking – and the beginning of Child’s television career – was born.

My Life in France isn’t just about Child’s life in France.  It is also about her happy marriage to Paul, the politics of the decades following World War II, her relationship with family and friends, her life in Paris, Marseilles, Germany, and Norway, and her development into the first successful television chef.  Coupled with dozens of Paul’s lovely photographs and generously scattered with mouth-watering descriptions of various culinary adventures, this book is a fascinating peek into the mind and heart of the incredible woman who revolutionized how Americans thought about food.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this memoir and would highly recommend it.

Bonus – Take a look at this video clip of Child’s television show, the French Chef.  If you can get over watching her paw at an army of raw chicken without sink or soap in sight, you’ll get a good glimpse at this fascinating woman and a bit of her true joie de vivre.

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Don’t take my word for it.  Check out what others are saying about My Life in France:

The Evening Reader – My Life in France

The New York Times – Becoming Julia Child

Powell’s Books – One Simple, Perfect French Meal Changed Her Life

Small Spiral Notebook – My Life in France by Julia Child, with Alex Prud’homme

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