Monday, May 6, 2013

A book, a cup and biscuit: soothing the beast


I'm in a funk. My cycle is rearing her ugly head, and I'm really ready to slap the wench. Instead I decided to write. Well, not feeling all that inspired so I rummaged through old blogs because, well, I feel good rereading some of my old work (feel free to confess to enjoying the same). Anyhoo, not only am I cranky but ravenous so little surprise that what caught my attention combines two of my favorite activities: eating and reading. Nothing heavy here just snapshots of books I've read and what I found in each.

About a year ago, I rediscovered how much I love memoirs and autobiographies. I especially like those with food motifs. Have you read any memoirs/autobiographies centered around food? Please give a brief description of the book. List author and title. I recommend these:

The Skin Between Us by Kym Regusa

"Documentary filmmaker Ragusa, now 40, discusses her"complex heritage"—her mother is African-American, Native American, Chinese and German; her father is Italian-American—in a memoir that's refreshingly intent on creating compelling portraits and contextualizing family history rather than rehashing a personal,
emotional journey...”

Loved this. It's not about food specifically but the connections the writer makes between her families centers around the dinner table. One of the things that struck me about this work was Regusa’s appreciation for art, including film and literature and how they informed her perceptions and descriptions. I read this more than a year ago and it is still fresh in my mind. I should add, being a foodie, I loved her descriptions of their meals and how her memories were intimately tied to food.

Stealing Buddha's Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen

"Nguyen was just eight months old when her father brought her and her sister out of Vietnam in 1975. The family relocated in Michigan, where young Bich (pronounced "bit") wrestled with conflicting desires for her grandmother's native cooking and the American junk food the "real people" around her ate. The fascination with Pringles and Happy Meals is one symptom of the memoir's frequent reliance on the surface details of pop culture to generate verisimilitude instead of digging deeper into the emotional realities of her family drama, which plays out as her father drinks and broods and her stepmother, Rosa, tries to maintain a tight discipline.

What's not to love about the title? Author grew up in Michigan and was promoted at my local library. The premise was good and I love food. The chronology is confusing at times and sometimes the author relies too heavily on the food motif but there are some very lucid and beautiful passages. I'd read her again. I appreciate what she attempted to do.

Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee

"Twentysomething Sunee seems to have it all: beauty, talent, and a charming, wealthy, and very attentive French lover. So why is she so miserable? In this sensuous, somewhat self-indulgent memoir, Sunee, who was born in South Korea, recounts her tragic beginnings(her mother abandoned her when she was 3), her pleasant but far-from-perfect upbringing with her adoptive family in New Orleans, and her passionate love affair with 40-year-old French entrepreneur Olivier Baussan, who travels the globe and owns a sprawling residence in Provence. Whenever she feels lonely, panicked, or out of place, Sunee finds solace in preparing gourmet meals."

Well written and interesting at times but I got bored because her life was too comfortable for me. I confess I didn't finish it. I got roughly 3/4 through and bailed.

What have you read lately?

3 comments:

  1. i have a small bedside table that holds all of my favorite books ever....and lately i've been re-reading many of those......or at least the parts that i highlighted, starred and underlined with added exclamation points.....

    ReplyDelete
  2. La Tonya! Found you! I really don't have a clear idea about how Google+ works, and have been trying to figure out your bloggy address!
    Ta DA!
    I felt off all day yesterday, and in a funk ... went to bed yesterday with a crime novel and felt all better. I read a great deal, and have been taking advantage of Amazon's free books. I read all kinds of things, but modern crime and detective (especially historical)provide an odd kind of catharsis that allows me to sleep better. I also just love a good mystery.
    Hope you are feeling more the thing.
    Jan

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  3. Jan, glad to hear I'm not alone. I don't quite get Google + either. lol. I read a lot of women's lit, YA, poetry, some science fiction and memoirs. I'll read anything well-written. Add allergies to getting my period. Completedly wiped out today.

    Beth, I visit your blog daily, a couple times of day. Love what you do. Thanks for coming by.

    ReplyDelete

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