Sunday, November 29, 2009

Reading Weekend wrap-up

What a great way to recover from pies, pies, pies and more pies.  The weather cooperated by giving us a horrendous Nor'easter (no snow just rain) that meant nobody wanted to go out to do anything, except stay home curled up with the cats in front of the fire.  So for the weekend, I managed to get through:

New Yorker staff writer Calvin Trillin gives us a fun little book about the eating adventures of a true gastronome, and his wife Alice who believes life should be strictly limited to three meals a day. Trillin takes us on a series of trips to France, Montreal, Omaha, Kansas City (his hometown), San francisco, Baltimore, and New Orleans among others. His attempts to experience food has him flying in tamales from New Mexico, barbeque from Kansas City, crab etouffee from New Orleans, crabs from Baltimore and other such delectables.

Reading this the day after the Thanksgiving Day feast was perfect. I could read it and not feel that I HAD to track down some of these feasts. Otherwise, I'd have been on google looking up home delivery!

For all who enjoy food, and humorous writing, this is a treat. As one of the last books in my Food category for my 2nd 999 challenge, it was really fun. Bon Appetit!

I picked this up last year, but never got around to reading it.  Several LTers have indicated it was a good read, and I second the motion.  It is a gentle, loving, easy to read, tear-jerker.  A wonderful story to read with youngsters, and remind us all what Christmas is really about.  A great way to kick off the Christmas season on a gentle reading weekend.


Subtitled The story of a boy's hunger, this is the story of a young boy whose mother was (to put it gently) not the greatest cook in the world. As he describes the horrors of the food she made, he manages to highlight the relationship of food to love in our lives.

While he has always been interested in food and cooking, his father did not allow him in the kitchen, so when his mother dies and father must take over the provision of meals, life becomes even more dire. After dad hires (and later marries) a cook/housekeeper, the food gets better, but life somehow does not. In fact, the family is uprooted and moved halfway across England to establish a more uppity lifestyle to please the 'new mum.'

Later when he gets old enough to get a job at a pub, and then a posh hotel, he realizes his calling in food prep. His father's death brings everything to a boil, severs the link with bridezilla, and provides Nigel with the impetus to go to cooking school and take up his true vocation.

I 'read' this one as an audio while preparing our leftover Thanksgiving meal. I loved hearing the British terms for foods --had to go look up a few--and laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes in a few places. It really brings out the role food (and in Britain the role of TOAST) plays in our lives, and how our relationships with food providers are formed so early in life. An enjoyable read--it's as much a coming of age bio as a food event-- even if you're not a foodie.

A sweet story focusing on talking Christmas ornaments.  A bit over the top for adults, but it's designed to be read, one chapter a night, starting on Dec 1st through Christmas Eve.  I personally think there are far better Christmas tales to share with children.  I just couldn't help thinking that it would make a great 1/2 cartoon TV special for the holiday season


I'm about 1/2 way through this delightful story of three generations of women living in rural North Carolina in the early part of the 20th century.  I'm already in love with all of them and can't wait to see the story progress.  This book was thrust (literally) into my hands by one of our library patrons, who imperiously demanded that if I hadn't read it, I must, because it was probably the most beautifully written story she'd ever read.  Well, so far, she's not too far off the mark.  I'll probably be up late tonite finishing it.  A beautiful way to finish up the weekend.

Many thanks to Jenn for starting this tradition.  Maybe we should do it again sometime.


  1. I just LOVED Charms for the Easy Life when I read it several years ago. I agree with you - I fell in love with the characters. Looking forward to hearing what you think after you finish it. BTW, it was also made into a movie - you can get it on Netflix.

  2. Looks like you had a great weekend with Thankfully Reading. I thought it was fun!

  3. would it be wrong of me to buy Charms for the Easy Life when I have Gibbons' Ellen Foster in my TBR pile, still unread. But if I don't get it now, I will forget about it, so I should, right? ;-)

  4. Caite....I'd go ahead and just read Ellen Foster...I've heard it's just as good as Charms......then you won't forget, because you'll there more?

  5. Calvin Trillin makes me giggle but somehow I've never read "Alice, Let's Eat." Sigh. Another one for my lengthy list.

  6. I love your selection of books for reading over the Thanksgiving weekend! Perfect choices. I want to read the Trillin book ... I "discovered" him earlier this year and just thought the world of him. I bet it was a fun book to read.

    And "Toast" sounds fun ... if not scarily like my son's own experiences with a mom who isn't a good cook!


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.