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  • Madina Papadopoulos 5:00 pm on 2017/12/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , jonathan safran foer, , , , , , ,   

    5 Delicious Food Memoirs to Drool Over 

    Snuggling up with a good book in the cold is one of winter’s foremost delights. Cookbooks aren’t necessarily books readers can get lost in, but food lovers can stick to reading on their favorite subject by enjoying a flavor-packed food memoir. Grab a throw blanket and a cup of tea, and enjoy one of these satiating personal histories.

    Two Towns in Provence: Map of Another Town and a Considerable Town, by M. F. K. Fisher
    Like helpings, the only thing better than one memoir is two, particularly when written by preeminent food writer, M. F. K. Fisher. Having penned 27 fantastic books, Fisher is among the most renowned American food writers. Her culinary travels through California and France provided inspiration for her food anecdotes. Here, her tale of two towns, Map of Another Town and A Considerable Town are paired together, taking the reader to picturesque places like Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles. These memoirs will have you dreaming of the sights and smells of the south of France, if not booking a plane ticket.

    32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, by Eric Ripert and Veronica Chambers
    Foodies flock to NYC to taste Eric Ripert’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Bernardin. At the upscale eatery, the Chef Ripert spoils and enchants diners with an array of delectable seafood, every bite a taste of la dolce vita. But Ripert’s life wasn’t always easy, and it was in his at times challenging childhood he found solace in his innate gift: cooking. The story is at once a tale about food and coming of age in the kitchen. And the book is much more accessible (and affordable) than a dinner at Le Bernardin.

    Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, & Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living, by Julie Powell
    Some people are more cinephiles than bibliophiles. But usually those film buffs enjoying reading the book the movie is based off of after having first savored the film. There are not that many food books as fiction books that are turned into movies but as luck would have it, this food blog/memoir was turned into a film: Julie and Julia. Starring Meryl Streep as the unique and charismatic food personality, Julia Child, the story follows a young woman, Julie, as she commits to cooking Child’s dishes daily for a year. Both movie and book are a delight, but we believe the book is best served before the film.

    Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace, by Ella Brennan and Ti Martin
    New Orleans is one of those cities that instantly conjures up images of food and fine dining. Just the mention of  “The Big Easy” sends déjà vu taste buds and smells swirling through the mind. And couple that with the surname, “Brennan,” well; brunch is pretty much served. The Brennan family of New Orleans has a long history as restaurateurs, among the most eminent is the inimitable Ella Brennan, leader of Commander’s Palace, first established in 1893. The book, whose colors recall the restaurant with its vibrant blue and white, follows the story of Brennan’s life and career. Brennan co-wrote it with one of her daughters (and restaurant partners), Ti Adelaide Martin.

    Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
    If you like your memoir with a slice of investigative journalism, then Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is the book for you. Do not sit down expecting a nostalgic recount of the days of old. Rather, the book dips into the more sour side of eating—the farming and treatment of animals. Foer makes an empathetic storyteller, he himself having attempted (and not always succeeded) to go vegetarian, battling his love of meat against his respect for animals. The book is a lot to digest, but is worth every word.

    What food memoirs have you savored?

    The post 5 Delicious Food Memoirs to Drool Over appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Madina Papadopoulos 5:00 pm on 2017/12/15 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , jonathan safran foer, , , , , , ,   

    5 Delicious Food Memoirs to Drool Over 

    Snuggling up with a good book in the cold is one of winter’s foremost delights. Cookbooks aren’t necessarily books readers can get lost in, but food lovers can stick to reading on their favorite subject by enjoying a flavor-packed food memoir. Grab a throw blanket and a cup of tea, and enjoy one of these satiating personal histories.

    Two Towns in Provence: Map of Another Town and a Considerable Town, by M. F. K. Fisher
    Like helpings, the only thing better than one memoir is two, particularly when written by preeminent food writer, M. F. K. Fisher. Having penned 27 fantastic books, Fisher is among the most renowned American food writers. Her culinary travels through California and France provided inspiration for her food anecdotes. Here, her tale of two towns, Map of Another Town and A Considerable Town are paired together, taking the reader to picturesque places like Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles. These memoirs will have you dreaming of the sights and smells of the south of France, if not booking a plane ticket.

    32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line, by Eric Ripert and Veronica Chambers
    Foodies flock to NYC to taste Eric Ripert’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Bernardin. At the upscale eatery, the Chef Ripert spoils and enchants diners with an array of delectable seafood, every bite a taste of la dolce vita. But Ripert’s life wasn’t always easy, and it was in his at times challenging childhood he found solace in his innate gift: cooking. The story is at once a tale about food and coming of age in the kitchen. And the book is much more accessible (and affordable) than a dinner at Le Bernardin.

    Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, & Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living, by Julie Powell
    Some people are more cinephiles than bibliophiles. But usually those film buffs enjoying reading the book the movie is based off of after having first savored the film. There are not that many food books as fiction books that are turned into movies but as luck would have it, this food blog/memoir was turned into a film: Julie and Julia. Starring Meryl Streep as the unique and charismatic food personality, Julia Child, the story follows a young woman, Julie, as she commits to cooking Child’s dishes daily for a year. Both movie and book are a delight, but we believe the book is best served before the film.

    Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace, by Ella Brennan and Ti Martin
    New Orleans is one of those cities that instantly conjures up images of food and fine dining. Just the mention of  “The Big Easy” sends déjà vu taste buds and smells swirling through the mind. And couple that with the surname, “Brennan,” well; brunch is pretty much served. The Brennan family of New Orleans has a long history as restaurateurs, among the most eminent is the inimitable Ella Brennan, leader of Commander’s Palace, first established in 1893. The book, whose colors recall the restaurant with its vibrant blue and white, follows the story of Brennan’s life and career. Brennan co-wrote it with one of her daughters (and restaurant partners), Ti Adelaide Martin.

    Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
    If you like your memoir with a slice of investigative journalism, then Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is the book for you. Do not sit down expecting a nostalgic recount of the days of old. Rather, the book dips into the more sour side of eating—the farming and treatment of animals. Foer makes an empathetic storyteller, he himself having attempted (and not always succeeded) to go vegetarian, battling his love of meat against his respect for animals. The book is a lot to digest, but is worth every word.

    What food memoirs have you savored?

    The post 5 Delicious Food Memoirs to Drool Over appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 8:30 pm on 2016/08/22 Permalink
    Tags: , , jonathan safran foer, mark z. danielsewski, raw shark textx, steven hall   

    6 Novels Showcasing Absolutely Insane Book Design 

    Words are incredibly powerful—any concept can be conveyed, argument turned aside, or feeling hurt with the use of just a few carefully-chosen words. Wars have been started and ended with words. The very foundations of society are, in fact, a bunch of words written down and agreed upon.

    But visuals—the way the words appear on the page—are powerful too, and some writers employ them to incredible effect. These six books represent some of the most incredible design and typesetting to be found in novels.

    Just About Everything by Mark Z. Danielzewski
    Danielzewski is well known for the way he combines words and typesetting tricks. House of Leaves, Only Revolutions, and most recently, the first three volumes of his 27-volume project The Familiar all utilize unusual and sometimes confounding typesetting and design tricks to deepen the story and unsettle the reader, from footnotes that twist and turn back and forth through the book, to paragraphs typeset to resemble shapes or objects (or, in one memorable image from The Familiar, rain falling on the page). Danielzewski may be the master of this technique—his novels as close to multimedia objects as you can get without a power source.

    The People of Paper, by Salvador Plascencia
    In some editions of this strange, wonderful book, a word is literally cut from the page when it appears. In all editions, words and sentences are blacked out, the stories of the characters are laid out in columns side-by-side to be read, somehow, concurrently, and one character’s thoughts are presented as impenetrable gray ink. There is a story, and it can only be described using the scientific term “bonkers” (let’s just say when Plascencia himself shows up as a character, you will not be surprised in the least), but this is also a book that could be observed instead of read, as each page is a delight of interesting and unexpected layouts and design choices.

    The City of Dreaming Books, by Walter Moers
    Moers writes about a fantasy universe where books are more important than anything. Puns and literary references abound, and the wonderful black and white illustrations bring everything to visual life in a very traditional way. There are some grand touches, however, that bring the story to life in other ways—as when the protagonist, Optimus Yarnspinner, is given a poisoned book. As he opens it, the pages the reader sees become the pages of the poisoned book. As the poison take effect, the text fades—culminating in several blank pages to indicate that Yarnspinner is unconscious. It’s a deft way to convey a plot point without any words at all.

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
    The first forty or so pages of this novel have no words whatsoever; presented as an homage to the early films that inspire the story, the beginnings of that story are presented as hand-drawn stills of a silent movie. Once the words kick in, Selznick does something exciting: the words convey thoughts and interior monologues of the characters, the pictures convey action. This rule is adhered to throughout the rest of the story, and it makes the novel one of the most unique reading experiences ever. At no point do the illustrations and text appear on the same page, which forces the reader to switch mentally from one to other when the shifts come. Where many books are praised for “fast-paced” action, nothing can beat a few well-composed pictures for conveying a pursuit or other exciting moment; most importantly, of course, the story is fascinating, and the illustrations are beautiful.

    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer
    Foer made a splash with this novel, which deals with a young boy’s attempts to make sense of his father’s death on 9/11. Sometimes overlooked in reviews or retrospectives is the careful use of typesetting the book employs, with different characters having different fonts—but, more importantly, the fonts and layouts used also reflect the actions of the characters. Oskar, the narrator, has very traditional typesetting until we start seeing the images he collects on his travels. His grandmother, writing on an old-school electric typewriter, has text spaced wider to reflect her choice of technology. The grandfather’s sections are supposedly written in haste in a small notebook, and the typesetting—often showing just one line on a page—reflects this as well. In other words, Foer uses the design to subtly underscore the situation of each character, culminating in the infamous flip-book illustration that reverses a man leaping from the Twin Towers on that terrible day, a powerful visual representation of the novel’s themes.

    The Raw Shark Texts, by Steven Hall
    Hall’s novel has one of the most original and difficult premises ever conceived. A man named Eric Sanderson awakes from some sort of attack. He is informed that he has a rare fugue condition resulting in deteriorating memory, but clues that seem to come from his past self inform him that he has, instead, run afoul of a “conceptual shark” called a Ludovician, which feeds on human thoughts and your very sense of self, materializing from the fictional to become quite real. When Sanderson encounters the shark, Hall conveys the encounter by having the shark materialize into visuals formed by words and letters, literally becoming manifest from fiction. Every time the shark arrives on the scene, the trick is repeated with increasing bravado, making these encounters visually interesting, exciting, and mysterious.

     

     
  • Joel Cunningham 7:30 pm on 2014/06/06 Permalink
    Tags: chipotle, , , jonathan safran foer, , portable fiction, ,   

    Chipotle Bags and 6 More Places We Want to Read Short Stories 

    Photo Credit: Instagram User masonjarsandsweettea

    Photo Credit: masonjarsandsweettea

    In olden times, you had to look to the pages of The New Yorker for your daily dose of highbrow short fiction. Soon, you won’t even have to put down your football-sized burrito, and after lunch, you’ll have more than just three pounds of carnitas to digest: Chipotle recently announced that it has partnered with Jonathan Safran Foer (who by now has no doubt eaten his weight in vegan burrito bowls) to bring short stories by the likes of Foer, George Saunders, Toni Morrison, and Malcolm Gladwell to its bags and cups.

    No more will there be grains of rice stuck in between the pages of that paperback. No more will green chile sauce leak into the speaker of your smartphone. No more will your e-reader be crusted with dried guacamole.

    This highly visible new outlet for fiction got us thinking—what other potentially valuable literary real estate is going undeveloped? Here are 6 more places we’d love to discover our new favorite author:

    Elevator doors
    I don’t know about you, but there are few more awkward spaces for this introvert than a crowded elevator. And by “crowded,” I mean “an elevator occupied by anyone other than me alone.” You can’t even play with your phone, because no one’s going to believe you get a signal in there. My usual M.O. is to stare straight ahead and pretend my peripheral vision isn’t working, so why not give me something to read while I’m doing it?

    Otherwise useless receipts
    I think we can all agree that the purchase of a donut doesn’t need to be an ink-and-paper transaction, but that’s not the way the modern world works, and my wallet remains stuffed with shamefully stashed receipts for impulse junk food transactions I’d sooner forget. Might as well give me something to read in the 15 seconds it takes to eat an entire jumbo Snickers.

    Popsicle sticks
    It’s finally warm in Chicagoland, which means the brigade of ice-cream trucks is out in force. Remember when you were a kid and you got those popsicles with a riddle on one end and the punchline on the other, and you had to eat the whole thing to uncover it? Let’s bring back the O. Henry–style twist ending, and enjoy a Dove bar while we’re at it.

    Toilet paper
    I’m not trying to be crude here, but we all have to use the bathroom, and we’ve all read that our phones are dirtier than a toilet seat, so you do the math. Keep that thing in your pocket and read “the paper” instead.

    Those annoying stickers on a piece of fruit
    I hate those things with the white-hot fire of an Andy Rooney diatribe. So why not give me something very short to read while I try in vain to scrape all the adhesive residue off of my increasingly bruised apple?

    Our phones
    Speaking of phones, my most pressing first-world problem is usually that I’ve left my charger at home, which means I’ll keep pulling my phone out only to remember I’ve got nothing more to stare at than a darkened screen. So why not invent some sort of technology that will fill it with text that can be read when the power’s off? Get on it, smartphone makers of the world—if you can manage to invent a new charging cable with every updated phone, you can handle this.

    Where would you like to read a short story?

     
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