Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Reading List

School's out, you might have more time for a few stolen moments to actually enjoy a good read, but what to read.???..I have eclectic tastes when it comes to reading, I love good fiction (not a lot of that out there) history, memoirs, and of course, books on food, wine and gardening.  Here are some of my picks for your summer book shelf, whether you are reading a book, or an e-book reader, these are terrific books to take along.

The Help (Movie Tie-In)
A great read for anyone curious about the South in the 50's---great characters and a terrific story.

 The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden
If you are gardener, this is the book for you, about how not to grow your own veggies; funny, and serious it's a terrific summer read.

Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Cote d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella
Chef David Shalleck's adventures as a chef on an Italian millionaires' yacht; the food, the struggles in a tiny kitchen, hard work, and the journey he takes to find himself.  Love this book!

Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine, and the End of France
Whether you are a francophile or not, this book is a great education into the cuisine of France, and it's downfall.....then upswing.  Told from the perspective of someone who loves all things French and is devastated that the macaroons at Laduree have fallen from their pedestal , and that Tour d'Argent is no longer the pillar of culinary excellence, this book is funny, informative, and never dull.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
A double story, weaving a serial killer into the building of the Chicago World's Fair, Erik Larson is a master story teller.  I haven't read his latest, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin but our son Ryan said it was terrific.

A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France
I taught for 2 summers in the Dordogne, and read this book by a college professor about their search for the perfect home, and the perfect spot.  No needy women in this one, just great writing and a terrific story.

Playing for Pizza
What could be better than sports and food??  Great read....Dr. C. even liked this one.
Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World
Although this is a tome, once read, you will never look at the Olympics the same way again; the stories in this book are about the great athletes who changed the way the games are played, and how we view them; great stories about Jim McKay and how he became the voice of the Olympics in the US.

Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, World War II, and the Long Journey Home

Since I'm a sports nut, Gary Moores' book about his father's short lived baseball career is a great read.

The American Heiress: A Novel

If you loved the PBS series Downton Abbey, you will love reading this historical fiction about the robber baron heiresses who married titled Europeans to infuse their coffers with much needed money to keep up appearances.

To Kill a Mockingbird (slipcased edition)

I could read this classic every month, I find something  new in every read.  Interestingly, Harper Lee never wrote anything else---how could you improve on this one? 

I'll be back tomorrow with some recipes for the holiday weekend, until then pick up a book!  

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