Monday, September 26, 2016

What I'm reading this week (9/26/16)

Last week I finished:

I finished Show and Tell, new and selected poems by Jim Daniels. This is what you'd call "working man" poetry, much like Philip Levine's wonderful poems (of the Deborah Garrison of male poetry). They're manly poems that tell you what life is like for white collar guys. I enjoyed the collection quite a bit. There were several poems about his father that I especially enjoyed. My rating: 4 stars.

Lily and the Octopus. Hmm. I'm not exactly sure what to say about this one. The book world seems to be in conspiracy to not give away much of the plot, but I see absolutely no need for all the hush-hush. It's a very average book about what most dog books are about (think Marley and Me). I didn't enjoy the story, and I didn't enjoy the writing. I found it quite pedestrian. I kept waiting for it to get "magical" but it never did for me. To each his own, but this was not my cup of tea, and I wish I'd read something else instead. My rating: 2 stars.

Delicious! however, was another story. This is the story of Billie Breslin, a gifted baker who is unable to set foot in the kitchen anymore. She takes a job at Delicious! a food magazine, and as it closes, she finds WWII-era  letters secreted away in the magazine's library between a girl named Lulu and the famed James Beard. That's all I'll tell you, because it really is part mystery. There's also romance, lots of food talk, and an underlying theme of identity that is really quite intriguing. I've read most of Ruth Reichl's body of work, and this, her first work of fiction, is in my top two favorites. Part of the reason I enjoyed it so much may have been because I listened to it instead of read it. The audiobook is very good. Regardless, I highly recommend this one, especially if you love food and/or Ruth Reichl. My rating: 5 stars.

Last week I began:

One of my favorite people on earth is Glennon Doyle Melton. Her first book, Carry On, Warrior is one of my favorite self-helpy/womany books. She deals with big issues honestly (SO honestly), and a lot of women, myself included, find strength in her work. Her work deals with her life, the beauty and difficulty of it, and her journey to faith and wisdom and connection and healing. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, GO. Amazing. Love Warrior is the current Oprah Book Club pick.

I was running low on pick-up/put-down books to read, so I decided to begin next month's book early. I started Firefly Hollow about a cricket, a firefly, and a vole. And I started Anne Byrn's (you know, The Cake Mix Doctor) American Cake that takes a journey through the evolution of cake in America from Colonial times to present.
This week, I'll finish:

I'm coming to the end of The 50 States, and I'm enjoying it. It's kind of nice that Wisconsin is among the last states, alphabetically, so I can, you know, save the best for last. :)



  1. That's the highest praise I've heard for Ruth Reichl's fiction, and now I want to read (or maybe listen?) to it!

    1. Oh, and one of my friends was just singing the praises of Love Warrior, so you just gave it another vote in its favor. :)

    2. I really liked Delicious! so much. I think it was the fact that it was part mystery, but also that it made me feel good. Too much contemporary fiction, in my opinion, tries to deal with too much--too much emotion, too much angst. Reichl sticks to themes she explores in her nonfiction, and I could really see her in this book. As someone who enjoyed Garlic and Sapphires, I think you'll like this one.

      As for Love Warrior, I'm nearly finished, and I shouldn't comment much until I am. I will say that it's much heavier than her previous book and much darker than I expected. She deals with very weighty stuff here.