Reading Corner: August
Very soon, you will see a few changes afoot in these parts. I trust you will find them worthwhile and winsome almost as much as I am chomping at the bit to see them in their full technicolor glory. In the meantime, I thought it might behoove me to tell you what’s coming up and what’s keeping my eyes occupied in my veritable reading corner. Think of it as a travel agent handing over a proposed itinerary to places you have yet to visit. And the best part is we get to visit together.
So what are you reading right now?
“Constance” by Jane Kenyon
I would be lying if I said that reading this book of poetry didn’t elicit the response of promptly ordering copies of all Kenyon’s other books. I am completely late to the party, having first read Kenyon’s husband, Donald Hall’s book of poetry, “Without” first. A friend at a local bookstore discovered that Greywolf is no longer publishing her individual books. Upon perusing a different used bookstore, I found a thick “Collected” tome. This of course led to my fingers scavenging amazon for used copies in good condition. You can imagine the elation I am experiencing as each book makes its way to me from around the country. A book review of “Constance” will be forthcoming.
“The Inspired Vegan” by Bryant Terry
You might be wondering, “Annelies, are you vegan?” To this, I would respond a very coy, “not exactly.” And yet, over the years the cookbooks that I began amassing in my home collection regularly included stalwart vegan or vegetarian titles. I blame it on “Candle 79” in New York or “Brenda’s Kitchen” in Minneapolis. We don’t really eat all that much meat around here for the sheer reasons of economics (good meat without hormones or antibiotics is expensive and thus in its way, a treat) and for health. So, there’s that. I became intrigued to cook my way through “The Inspired Vegan” after meeting Bryant Terry in an elevator at Blogher Food. I found in our brief conversation, we share similar passions of access to clean foods in low income neighborhoods and a desire to show that healthy food doesn’t have to be difficult to prepare or have to sacrifice flavor. Clearly, from tonight’s repast of his Red Beans with Thick Gravy and Roasted Garlic spooned over rice, we are eating well. I’ll keep you posted on how my Cook the Book exploration goes.
“The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery
While I would say I’m on a diet of poetry often enough, there is also a splash of fiction thrown in for good flavor. The clever start of two key characters stories in “Elegance” hooked me enough to see what will happen next. That it is set in Paris adds to its appeal. That it follows the stellar “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss is only somewhat lamentable as I am still a part of the world created therein and the last pages of that incredibly memorable book. “But, Annelies,” you ask, “you don’t review fiction books.” And this is true, reader. Which is why in my somewhat Type A need for organization and order, I started a book review blog with two friends. Think of it as our attempt to have Book Club in a space germane to London, Denver and San Francisco time. If you’re curious, check out our Literary Locus book review blog with each of us posting what we’ve read lately along with a short write-up and notes on our favorite city bookstores. It keeps us in touch in a language that transcends the colloquial.
What you read is what you’re thinking about and in a way, who you are.