And the May/June Book Is…

MATRIMONY by Joshua Henkin

  A Novel

Thank you to the sixteen of you who voted in our May/June poll.  After the most exciting voting weekend in Planet Books history (a whopping seven months) 50% of the vote went to the winning book.  I wasn’t sure what was going to happen when I left the house this morning and was surprised to find that Matrimony broke out of the tie against Love in the Time of Cholera with two new votes when I returned after a few hours. The discussion question period for Matrimony will have a new twist on it because Mr. Joshua Henkin graciously offered to visit with us here at Planet Books at the end of June to discuss his second book with us.  For those of you joining us for the first time or who would like to see what Matrimony is about please check out this link to The New York Times Book Section.


Hitting The Ground Reading

I just ordered my copy of “My War..Killing Time In Iraq” and I am looking forward to reading it. With the elections going on and the news of Soldiers being killed recently in the Middle East, I think it will be interesting to read a first hand account of what our Troops see and experience on deployments.
I am glad that it will take a week for my book to arrive by mail though. I have so much to catch up on!! Between the magazines that piled up in our mailbox while we were gone, to the huge amount of candidate research I have yet to do and the newspapers I have to skim through on-line I feel so behind.
I am determined to make this the year of self-improvement. Between my new Nintendo NS Lite and the BrainAge and NYTimes Crossword Puzzle games I got for it and the many new books I received between Christmas and my birthday I have think I have a good amount of material to help me get started on my year of self-educating and growing as an adult.
What are your New Year Resolutions or do you not partake in this tradition? Please share!

What This Book Is Doing To Me

Right now Planet Books readers are delving into “Garlic & Sapphires ~ The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise” by Ruth Reichl.  I am on page 209 and am still loving this book.  I have found myself reading it at 4:30 in the morning in the last week because I couldn’t sleep due to a terrible cold, and I have even asked my hubby to read certain reviews and excerpts that I found hilarious. 

I find myself tasting food in a different way.  I have started to eat a little slower, savor a bite a little longer and really enjoy what food is on my fork/spoon/chopstick.  Last night my hubby whipped up a recipe for Potatoes Gratin by Tyler Florence.  He was using his new mandolin and was impressed with the ease in which he sliced the spuds into paper thin sheets.  After the dish had been in the oven for a good twenty minutes the scent of dinner started to make its way into the living room.  When I bit into my first fork full of creamy potatoes it was a browned corner that burst with flavor and I just closed my eyes and showed my delight by moaning, “Mmmmm Honey!”.  We are having the left overs for dinner tonight and I can’t wait.

I have also found myself perusing the New York Times Food & Wine section on-line as well as my hometown paper, The Washington Post.  I have been a faithful reader of both publications book review sections for a few years now but I have discovered a whole new world to learn about with the food sections. 

I was never a big newspaper reader, magazines yes, but the messy black ink of newspaper always leaked onto my fingers and drove me nuts.  Since moving to Memphis, TN, than Okinawa, Japan I was reading these paper’s on-line versions daily but only main headlines.  Now I find myself e-mailing articles to friends whom I think might be interested (just like my mother, and her mother sent clippings in the mail, which by the way, my mom still does to this day) and e-mailing myself articles so I can easily access these bits of information within a special folder in my e-mail account. 

Do you find yourself with your nose in your monitor more than a good book?  Please share the websites that dominate your time the most with Planet Books.  Mine are The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, The New York Times, Borders, Nordstrom, and Food Network.

And the October Book Is….

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion with 58% of the vote.  This is a true story written by a woman about the year following the death of her husband.  I have had a copy of this book on my shelf for a few months now and am looking forward to reading it with you. 

This book was recently made into a play that is playing on Broadway staring Vanessa Redgrave.  I would love to see this show but being that I live in Okinawa right now, I don’t see that happening.  I also came across an article in the New York Times about this book.  In it the columnist assures us that though the book is about tragic events that occurred in this woman’s family, it is an uplifting and inspiring read. 

I hope you enjoy it.  I also hope that for those of you who voted for one of the other selections this month, that you find the time to read that book too.