Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reading List...

Some more books mentioned in The New York Time Book Review. All look enticing (alphabetical by author):

A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer - New York City is awash with a sense of purpose in 1941, in the days following the U.S.'s involvement in WWII. Emotions are heightened, and everyone wants to do something meaningful. Claire Shipley stumbles upon the greatest story of her career when she is assigned to take pictures of the scientists at the Rockefeller Institute who are working against time to develop life-saving antibiotics. Little does she know that the assignment will involve blackmail, espionage, and murder. A Fierce Radiance is at once a thriller, a love story, a family saga, and a window into American history, evoking the pure essence of war-time New York. It portrays the tumultuous early days of World War II, when many feared that America would lose the war, when even children were caught up in the sacrifices demanded by the nation's mobilization, and when individuals clung fiercely to their loved ones, because no one could predict what tomorrow would bring.

The Particu
lar Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender - On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti: A Memoir of Good Food and Bad Boyfriends by Giulia Melucci. The New York Times book reviewer Elsa Dixler describes it best: "Melucci belongs to that New York tribe of smart, funny women with cool jobs, great friends and dead-end boyfriends. What makes her account less familiar is that Melucci loves to cook, and her charming tale of love gone wrong is studded with recipes for dishes like Morning After Pumpkin Bread and Calming Coq au Vin."