Hott Links: Summer School

summerschool07.jpgAs much as I’d like to become more of a “reader,” I’m a pretty slow reader and therefore, I don’t finish the hott books until at least 2 years post their prime. Which, actually can suck: I finished The Da Vinci Code mere weeks before the movie hit theaters, resulting in my hating the film even more than the average viewer who finished the book, idontknow, four years before.

Anyway, I just finished My Life In France, Julia Child’s own tale of how she moved to Paris and started being really fucking anal about measuring. I mean, whole months of her life were dedicated to figuring out exact amounts of different ingredients. Of course, Julia’s my girl, and I’m in awe of her humility, but boy would she hate our nonchalant paradigm of cooking at ES.

This summer, though, I have a few books on my list as I plan to spend time out of the kitchen <gasp> and out on the Jersey Shore.

The Apprentice: My Life In The Kitchen [Jacques Pepin]

If you only watch one cooking show for the rest of your life, make it Jacques’ current show, Fast Food My Way. Jacuqes is an adorable, older, Frenchman. He is so funny, so talented and so entertaining to watch. And, he is a remnant of a soon to be gone generation, not just in the food world, but of a population that grew up during World War II. In a very selfish way, Jacques reminds me of my grandmother. I find comfort in him, his warmth and his excitement for food and life. I’m currently reading his memoir.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma [Michael Pollan]

I know, there’s so much hype about this book—like two years ago— but I still hear about it all of the time and how it changed a lot of my friends’ view of food and life and what they eat and what they cook and, um, everything else. I think my friend JakeSG even said it could be a food bible. I may be exaggerating here. Nonetheless, it’s on my list so don’t be alarmed if I suddenly sound more informed in my blog posts. And yes, my purchase of a Sigg seriously excites me.

American Food Writing: An Anthology, With Classic Recipes [Molly O’Neill, Ed.]

And while I’m not sure if this is the typical beach book I want to be lugging around everywhere I go this summer, this massive tome is on my to-do. 80’sMom totally read my mind when she bought this for me for my birthday. As I pretend that my food writing has any real relevance, I have a feeling that the essays, narratives and recipes in this book will teach me a lesson about what is actually considered important in the world of food writing.

Leave it in the comments if you have any books on your list, or books I should add on mine. I’m also thinking about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, for next summer, of course.

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  • JoeHoya July 2, 2008  

    Elizabeth loved Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and I can attest to The Omnivore’s Dilemma’s impact.

    Hate to say it, though, I wasn’t entirely impressed with American Food Writing. A good chunk of the early selections are taken from sources that, while interesting for what they represent, aren’t exactly engrossing. And 775 pages is a lot to lug around when it comes to beach reading. I found myself skimming after I got about a third of the way in – though that may have had something to do with the fact that I borrowed it from the library and I wanted to get to the 20th Century writers I recognized before I had to return it.

  • belmontmedina July 2, 2008  

    Animal, Vegetable Miracle is great. I’d also recommend one of Pollan’s other books- The Botany of Desire. There’s also The United States of Arugula, and any of Mark Kurlansky’s books- I’m partial to Salt. Oooh- and Julie and Julia. Fab beach/food read.

  • gansie July 2, 2008  

    actually, i have read julie/julia (thanks again to 80PMom). I’m totally excited for the movie, which i think is supposed to be a cross of that book and child’s my life in france.

    and thanks for the suggestions belmont.

  • 80PMom July 2, 2008  

    I’ve been feeling guilty about not lending you The Apprentice after I finished it. Sorry if you gave up on me and got your own copy. Or maybe you forgot you asked! Now we can read it at the same time. I really was enjoying it and in awe of the challenges of his childhood, but I got side tracked a couple of years ago!

  • gansie July 6, 2008  

    actually, 80PMom, maybe we can start an ES book club. as i said, i’m a slow reader, so anyone that wants to jump on and read pepin with us please do so. maybe we can hold a live blog to discuss the book in a few weeks.

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