Friday Finds ~ Weekend of May 1st, 2009

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  While browsing book blogs,, Washington, and various other places on the Internet, these are the books that made it to my wish list this week.




The Seamstress by Frances de Pontes Peebles
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Not Becoming My Mother: and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way by Ruth Reichl
The Foreigner by Francie Lin
A Novel of the Titanic (Distant Waves) by Suzanne Weyn
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Hello Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack

“The Pillars of the Earth” is a Pillar of a Book

I finally received my copy of Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth” this morning.  I’m still a little surprised with myself that I am reading an “Oprah Book Club” book at the time it’s The book club book.  So far there’s been a hanging, a cursing, and a stampeding war horse and I’m only on page 28.  I have 945 more pages to go!  I found myself interested in this book because of the time setting being in the Middle Ages.  I find this period very romantic, dangerous, cold, and wonderful. 

Are you reading anything “trendy” right now?  Trendy meaning something that a lot of people are reading at the same time?  Like “Eat, Pray, Love” or something on the New York Times Top 10 Best Seller List? 

I did order Ruth Reichl’s first memoir “Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table” and look forward to checking out the beginnings of the present Gourmet Magazine Editor In Chief.  I did read an excerpt from “Tender at the Bone” and laughed my butt off so I’m pretty excited about reading the book.  Did reading “Garlic & Sapphires” inspire you to check out some of Reichl’s previous memoirs and/or Gourmet Magazine? 

Ready to Eat… I Mean “Talk Turkey”?

While searching the Internet for discussion questions for G&S, I learned that Ruth Reichl is an Executive Producer for a FOX film based on her wonderful memoir about her tenure as the NY Times Restaurant Critic.  states that the film is set for release in 2008 but due to the fact that it is still in production there isn’t much information right now about the project.  I am so excited about this!

Though I have scoured the Internet for some discussion questions on “Garlic & Sapphires” I haven’t had much luck.  I did find an interview with Ruth Reichl from The CBS Early Show (INTERVIEW) with Reichl discussing some of her disguises.  Then I came across audio interviewfrom Barnes & with Reichl as well as a Q&A from with Reichl. 

I would like to know if you were happy with this Planet Books read?  What would you like to discuss about the book, “Garlic & Sapphires”. 

Personally (as you may have gathered from previous posts) I LOVED this book and have discovered a new set of taste-buds in my mouth along with a new hobby of reading restaurant reviews on the NY Times and Washington Post websites.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a filling and delicious one!  XOXO-K

I Received My Copy of G&S!!

My husband called me this afternoon to tell me that a book arrived for me in the mail today.  I was so excited because I knew it was “Garlic & Sapphires”.  I told him I would swing by his office on my way to an appointment so I could start it while I was waiting.  I LOVE IT!!!!  I love Ruth Reichl’s writing style and the crazy waitress lady on the airplane from L.A. to NYC was hilarious and scary.  I showed my hubby what Planet Books was reading this month and he flipped through the book and mentioned that there were recipes.  I didn’t know this but I was pleased to find this out.  This will be a fun book and I am so excited it won (though I did not vote for it, but voted for “The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry” instead).  If you have already started G&S, please let us know what you think so far. 

On another note, yesterday I picked up the new CD release, “Complete Clapton”.  It’s a two-disc collection of Eric Clapton’s hits with Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominoes, his solo work and his duet with B.B. King.  It is just AMAZING and I had no idea just how many of Clapton’s songs I just love.  Today I did a lot of driving (and believe it or not there is a ton of traffic on Okinawa) and I got to listen to all 36 tracks and had the best day because of it.  I may be a bit under the weather with a stuffed nose and soar throat but the music was so powerful, it made me feel better.  I will admit that I had no idea that Belinda Carlisle’s song, “I Feel Free” (track number 3 on “Heaven on Earth”) was a Cream cover until this morning.  I have loved that song since 1988 and was tickled that Belinda had chosen to cover that tune.  I used to sing it over and over again in my room in junior high and high school.  When I go home for Christmas this year I am looking forward to picking up the autobiography that compliments this dual disc.  The November issue of Vanity Fair Magazine has an excerpt from Clapton’s new book, “Clapton: The Autobiography”, about the period of time when his son, Conor, fell out of his mother’s rented apartment window and fell to his death 50+ stories down.  The writing, vividness and vulnerability that Clapton’s retelling showed makes me want to know everything about this amazing artist.  (NOTE**Within the last link in this paragraph, offers a video of Clapton regarding this book.)

The November Special Is…

“Garlic & Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise” by Ruth Reichl.  I hope that everyone finds some inspiration from the former NY Times food critic and the delicious meals she reviewed.

     The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise

From Publishers Weekly: “As the New York Times’s restaurant critic for most of the 1990s, Reichl had what some might consider the best job in town; among her missions were evaluating New York City’s steakhouses, deciding whether Le Cirque deserved four stars and tracking down the best place for authentic Chinese cuisine in Queens. Thankfully, the rest of us can live that life vicariously through this vivacious, fascinating memoir. The book—Reichl’s third—lifts the lid on the city’s storied restaurant culture from the democratic perspective of the everyday diner. Reichl creates wildly innovative getups, becoming Brenda, a red-haired aging hippie, to test the food at Daniel; Chloe, a blonde divorcée, to evaluate Lespinasse; and even her deceased mother, Miriam, to dine at 21. Such elaborate disguises—which include wigs, makeup, thrift store finds and even credit cards in other names—help Reichl maintain anonymity in her work, but they also do more than that. “Every restaurant is a theater,” she explains. Each one “offer[s] the opportunity to become someone else, at least for a little while. Restaurants free us from mundane reality.” Reichl’s ability to experience meals in such a dramatic way brings an infectious passion to her memoir. Reading this work—which also includes the finished reviews that appeared in the newspaper, as well as a few recipes—ensures that the next time readers sit down in a restaurant, they’ll notice things they’ve never noticed before. “

Be sure to check the post below with discussion questions about “The Year of Magical Thinking” and post your comments.