World Book Night is here!

The books are ready to be in someone else’s hands!  World Book Night is here!  The date was chosen because it is the date of William Shakespeare’s birth, and what better way to celebrate by putting good books into the hands of light or non-readers.  I chose to give “The Book Thief,” because it is a novel written for young adult readers which tells a meaningful and important story.

In a few minutes I am going to venture out and approach strangers and ask them about their reading habits.  It’s such a great thing, putting great books into the hands of people who may not be drawn to books, but it is also feeling daunting right now.  I’m an extrovert but approaching strangers is a little out of my comfort zone.

Maybe it’ll be a life changing experience for me, the giver, as well as for the receiver.

I’ll keep you posted!

For more information on World Book Night you can visit

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Books: Lunch in Paris – A Love Story, with Recipes

Cover of "Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, w...
Cover via Amazon

by Elizabeth Bard

I LOVED this book!  And how perfect that I finished it late last night (an UNPUTDOWNABLE?) and today I can post a few words for Words and Peace’s “I Love France” meme!

Elizabeth Bard was an American living/working/studying in England when she saw a man at an academic conference and on the last day exchanged emails with him, which led to a flurry of flirty emails and eventually a weekend trip to Paris for a lunch date.  This book chronicles their life together – from this first date – and tells the story through food.

This book is quite like another book I love – Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life” – which owns space on my cookbook shelf.  Early on in “Lunch in Paris,” (after I started dog-earing recipes that I wanted to try in chapter one, chapter two, etc.) I realized that I would be purchasing this book for the same reason.  Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes, Mamy Simone’s Tabouleh, Eggplant Stuffed with Quinoa, Lemon Sorbet and Vodka (inspired!)… the list goes on and on.  Some of the recipes look a little complicated but most simply enhance the flavors of whatever is being served (wild boar or haricot verts – I love haricot verts!).

Elizabeth Bard is able to simply and beautifully write about what it means to be an American living in France.  I don’t even know what else to say about that!  She writes eloquently about what it’s like to have parents in US who wonder what she’s getting herself into, cultural expectations of Americans and French, how cultural differences impact relationships and attitudes towards work and happiness.

It is an excellent little book filled with intelligent insights.  Adriana Trigiani (one of my favorite authors) has a blurb on the back that says “It’s Eat, Stay, Love with a side of spiced apricots.”  I thought about that as I read the book.  One of my pet peeves is when people set out to do something amazing with the sole intention of writing a book at the completion of the amazing feat.  It feels contrived and unnatural.  I felt that way about “Eat, Pray, Love” and “The Happiness Project.”  I didn’t feel that way about this book at all.  And in the last chapter she writes about how the “cookbook” idea came to be – during a New Year’s Eve feast that lasted for eight hours.  Yes, they stopped eating at around 4AM.  Can you imagine?  Each hour a new course was brought out to be savored and enjoyed.

This book is a joy.  Savor it.

Off to read!

Yeah sirsi!

Cover of One Day

Sirsi is where the emails come from to let me know that books I’ve reserved at the library are ready to be picked up! Yeah! So tonight after work I sat down with the last forty pages of “Faking It” by Jennifer Crusie and then headed to the library to pick up “One Day” by David Nicholls (finally!) and “Juliet, Naked” by Nick Hornby.

I find the Rochester Public Library a little difficult to navigate. Well, maybe not difficult to navigate but overwhelming. Summer of ’09 I started with the fiction in the Zs, thinking I’d work backwards, and I read quite a few fun books, but soon that didn’t work for me. This past summer I referred to my goodreads TBR account via my smart phone and would look for specific books – either on the shelf or in audio version – but very rarely would I find them shelved! So this winter I’ve gotten a little smarter and I started reserving the books so that when I go in I just need to go to the reserve shelf and check out! It’s nice to be able to get exactly what you’re looking for sometimes – but there is also something about wandering around in the stacks, too. I’m sure I’ll do a little of both – reserve and wander.

Other random thoughts:

  • I didn’t know “One Day” was going to be made into a movie, coming out in July!
  • “Faking It” was a fun easy read. Not great but witty.
  • I’m falling behind in my magazine reading.
  • I’m not going to fall into the meme trap again – I hope. Maybe I’ll come up with my own weekly blogging themes – I do love themes, after all! Not that I’d ever blog every day, but how about Saturday or Sunday Smorgasbord? Monday Musings? Teatime Tuesday? Thursdays Thoughts? Ugh… ideas welcome!
  • Water for Elephants” will be out in the theatres before we know it!
  • I’m super excited to watch the Oscar’s this year!

I think that’s all for tonight! My TBR list now includes: “One Day,” “Juliet, Naked,” and “Plain Truth” – probably in that order! Book club discussion for “Plain Truth” is March 8 so we’ll see if I need to rearrange the order. Good times! I love to read and talk about books!

Off to read!