I just finished Cooked by Michael Pollan and I had to tell you about it. I've never read his other books, although I've heard of them, but now I have to go back and find the others. This book is fascinating, educational, inspiring, and I dare say life changing.
It also hit very close to home as Pollan wrote about cooking with his son in the months before he left for college. As I read the final acknowledgements (who even reads those?) I descended into weeping as I listened to Deuce baking bread downstairs. Dinner is definitely going to be different next week.
What else have I been reading?
I've gone back and read some older Nelson DeMille books. For some reason I had never read The Charm School or The General's Daughter, even though I am a big fan of his other books.
The General's Daughter is more of a murder mystery and a perfect summer book. The Charm School, however, is another of DeMille's books that taught me more than any book so enjoyable has a right to do. I don't know about you, but I never had a history class in high school that went past World War II. I couldn't tell you any more about Korea than what I saw on M*A*S*H. Vietnam? No clue about what started it all or how we got there - that is, until I read DeMille's Up Country. The Charm School does much of the same for the Cold War, filling in details wrapped up in his trademark sarcastic hero and sassy, independent heroine.
I'm glad I read it, because one of our book club books this year is The Romanov Conspiracy by Glenn Meade. In preparation, I just listened to The History Chicks' two episodes on the Romanovs, and now find myself obsessively looking through the photographs of the family over on Alexander Palace Time Machine.
Earlier in the summer I read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Again, history I knew nothing about all woven into a story I couldn't put down. It's a gift.
I'm looking forward to our book club selection for September, The House on Tradd Street by Karen White, which promises to be a lighter read. Jodi's personal rule is that the book must not make her want to put her head in the oven. So many crossed off the list already!
Over July 4th when the relatives are in town, the six girl cousins (no kids, no parents, no husbands) go to dinner and a movie. This year we welcomed the youngest cousin, Leigha, who just graduated from college. We had dinner at Azul Agave (pretty drinks!) and went to see The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It was a scream - but not for the easily offended - and a great escape from the never-ending to do list roiling in my brain this summer.
I also have to give a shout out to my brother for his work on Monsters University. The music was amazing and, of course, I loved the drum line (courtesy of the Blue Devils) threaded through the soundtrack. On top of that, it was a great fun movie for all ages - no small feat for a sequel! Again, a little close to home, but we saw it in June when it first came out so I was less prone to fits of depression.
What are you reading and watching?