Book Talk

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In the last couple of years, I have been doing so much more reading. I realized at some point that I was exhausted from reading short bits online every day, and wanted the escape of plunging into a real book. To be honest, I am not as well-read as I would like to be–my tendency since finishing high school has been only to read books for information. I have read a lot of very informative books! Mostly ones related to physical health, nutrition, emotional health, and bodywork. But I want more.

Book Talk AprilI need to engage the more human or artistic reading side of my brain, and enjoy more stories and poetry. To read for pleasure and to relate as a human being. Also, to read in order to become a better writer. That’s what I’ve been doing more of lately. I do talk about books on my facebook page, but I know not everyone is over there, so I’d like to move these conversations over here.

So I am going to do a monthly post about what I’ve been reading, and I hope you’ll talk to me about what you’re reading, too. I’m excited.

For Fun

3428053I just finished a book that was a light and easy read about food and French culture. Sacre Cordon Bleu is about an English reporter’s experience learning to cook at Cordon Bleu in Paris, and his time afterward working in a famous French restaurant kitchens. Jeff is reading it now. I love reading foodie memoirs, and this one was pretty entertaining! There were also some very useful bits of information on how to cook well– tips the author learned during this adventure.



51W4pHe-iRLNow I’m listening to The Poisonwood Bible on Audible. The story is so enthralling. I’m not done with it yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. Of course, there is also the part of the story about missionaries and missionary kids in a foreign culture that I relate to.






A book I’d been meaning to read for years was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. So many people have told me this was one of their favorites, and so I finally got to enjoy it. I listened to the audiobook version while I worked in the kitchen, knitted or folded laundry. It took a long time to go through, but I didn’t mind that at all– the story is SO good! I’m sure most of you read it while you were in school, but if you haven’t or don’t remember it well, then you should definitely pick it up.


51i4FyfBp8LIs Ray Bradbury considered a classic author yet? If not, I’m sure he will be soon enough. I really loved Dandelion Wine. It’s one of those books that changes the way you feel inside your body whenever you pick it up. He describes feeling of being alive and human, as it happens for a 12 year old boy. I’m not sure exactly what else to say about it, but if you haven’t read it, you should. I feel kind of exhilarated just thinking about it.




I am always working through a cookbook or two. If you’re familiar with my recipes, then you probably already know I kind of have a thing for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. I tend to buy a lot of Middle Eastern cookbooks because this is a kind of food I have never seen cooked before– so there is a steep learning curve for me– so many ideas I would never have thought of on my own! So many flavors to taste! So Jeff bought me The Lebanese Kitchen for Christmas, and as the weather warms up, I can’t wait to try more of these recipes.


forage_feastIn the next week or so, I am going to be reviewing a new book, Foraging & Feasting by Dina Falconi. She sent me a copy to review and share with you, and I have been having a lot of fun going through it! She has some new ideas about using and preserving wild foods that I am looking forward to trying and posting about. So stay tuned for that! In the meantime, this is just a really beautiful and fun-to-use book.


One more cookbook that I cannot wait to get my hands on is The Nourished Kitchen, by Jennifer McGruther. She writes one of my very favorite food blogs, and I know this book is going to be SO fantastic! 51kduM1HEzL

(It was just listed as one of Saveur’s “Books Worth Buying” for April– so cool!) I will review it for you just as soon as it arrives in the mail. [Update: I did get it in the mail just a few hours after posting this! It’s fantastic, and Amelia and I did a fun collaborative review. You can find that here: Nourished Kitchen Book Review.]


I am always trying to learn something new! This week, I downloaded a couple of new ebooks.

ArtOfGardening_leftI am particularly excited about The Art of Gardening: Building Your Soil. I love gardening, but I am so not a very technical person. My approach is usually to just try things and hope to get better over time. While this has worked to some extent with my gardening career over the years, I am thankful for this book because it explains everything so clearly– the many possible ways to compost, getting your soil balanced, how to make your beds more productive, etc. I would love to get more food out of my small garden plot, and I think this will help me out a lot! Plus, it’s visually beautiful– which always makes me happy.


So, that’s the stack of books and ebooks I’ve been working through! I am definitely in the market for another FUN read– what do you recommend? Have you read anything really educational or interesting lately?

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7 Responses to Book Talk

  1. americanlola April 11, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    If you loved Dandelion Wine, you would love Medicine for Melancholy by Bradbury also! I love the way he writes!

    • ariana April 11, 2014 at 8:40 am #

      Yes, I love the way he writes, and I love the way he see being alive and human as pretty incredible– that’s how I feel, too! I am slowly getting through The Illustrated Man, and although it’s good, it’s not really my thing. So I’ll look that one up– thank you!

  2. Holly April 11, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    I’m looking forward to your review of Foraging & Feasting. I recently took a class on foraging and an intro to herbalism. I love learning about the wonders of plants from those who are willing to share their wisdom with others, and I meet so many interesting people along the way. Right now I am reading Tasha Tudor’s Garden and Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah.

    • ariana April 11, 2014 at 8:42 am #

      Those sound like some great reads! You might like Sacre Cordon Bleu, too– kind of a silly read, but fun. I know foraging is making a resurgence, and I am really happy about that. This food should be available to everyone, and there is so much simultaneous hunger, malnutrition and food waste. My hope is that we can get back to knowing our landscapes and how to feed ourselves. I’ll review Nourished Kitchen first, then Foraging & Feasting– hopefully by the end of the month.

  3. Rebekka K. Steg April 13, 2014 at 8:37 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing the books that you are currently reading – I love getting inspiration from other people for my ever growing list of books to read.

    Also, just so you know, the links for Nourished Kitchen all lead to ‘Nourished Baby’ e-book. Just wanted to let you know 🙂

    • ariana April 14, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      Thank you so much for pointing that out to me– glad you told me so I could get it fixed before I sent more people in the wrong direction! (Although Nourished baby is *highly* recommended.) 🙂

  4. Hausfrau April 18, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    I’m so glad you’re planning to make this a regular feature! I’m a big fan of foodie memoirs, too. Interesting, I recall feeling much the way that you are feeling now–wanting to get “more” from books and feeling the urge to read more novels and poetry. I too had spent a number of years reading primarily to acquire information–about pregnancy, parenting, breastfeeding (I became a LLL leader), healthy living, gardening, cooking, homekeeping, and other “adult” pursuits. I needed (and still need, as I continue to read a good bit of nonfiction) novels and poetry for escape and enrichment. By the way, I’ve been waiting for Nourished Kitchen to be released, and I was happy to buy it through your link!

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