Books That Caught Our Eye

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At Mailbox Monday we encourage participants to not only share the books they received, but to check out the books others have received.

Every Wednesday we will each share two books that caught our eye from that week’s Mailbox Monday.

We encourage you to share the books that caught your eye in the comments.

LESLIE:

Literary Starbucks: Freshly-Brewed Bookish Humor, No-Whip, Half-Caf @The Reading Date.

From the creators of the eponymous viral Tumblr comes a single day with your favorite authors in one Twilight-Zone-esque Starbucks…

Ever wonder which intricate, elaborately-named drinks might be consumed if your favorite authors and characters wandered into a Starbucks? How many pumpkin lattes J.K. Rowling would drink? Or if Cormac McCarthy needed caffeine, which latte would be laconic enough? Look no further; LITERARY STARBUCKS explores such pressing matters with humor and erudition. Set over the course of a single day, and replete with puns and satirized literary styles, the three authors go darker, stronger, and more global than the blog in book format, including illustrations by acclaimed New Yorker cover artist and cartoonist Harry Bliss.

In this moving memoir, a woman digs into a garden and into the past and finds secrets, beauty, and acceptance. Alex’s father dies just as she and her husband buy a nondescript house set atop an acre of wilderness that extends into a natural gorge in the middle of the city. Choked with weeds and crumbling antique structures, the abandoned garden turned wild jungle stirs cherished memories of Alex’s childhood: when her home life became unbearable, she would escape to the forest. In her new home, Alex can feel the power of the majestic trees that nurtured her in her youth.She begins to beat back the bushes to unveil the garden’s mysteries. At the same time, her mother has a stroke and develops dementia and Alex discovers an envelope of yellowed documents while sorting through her father’s junk pile. The papers hold clues to her Ukrainian-born parents mysterious past. She reluctantly musters the courage to uncover their secrets, while discovering the plants hidden in the garden from primroses and maple syrup producing sugar maples to her mother’s favorite, lily of the valley. As every passionate gardener knows, to spend time with the soil is the opposite of escapism it is to embrace our own circle of life and hold it close.

VICKI:

Tasting Rome by Katie Parla, Kristina Gill @Library Of Clean Reads

A love letter from two Americans to their adopted city, showcasing modern dishes influenced by tradition, as well as the rich culture of their surroundings.

Even 150 years a fter unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine– mirrors of their culture, history, and geography. But the cucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. In Tasting Rome, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture Rome’s unique character and truly evolved food culture– a culimation of two thousand years of history.

The recipes here, each selected for the story it tells, acknowledge the foundations of the cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today: cacio e pepe is not only a peppery condiment for pasta, but also a filling for suppli, fried rice balls; pollo alla romana is served as a summer platter of peppers stewed with chicken, but also deboned and on hearty sandwiches. Parla and Gill focus, too, on cucina ebraica to highlight the role Rome’s Jewish communities have had, bringing dishes such as hraimi con couscous, which incorporates spicy amberjack, and matzoh fritters, pizzarelle, with honey and pine nuts; celebrate the authentic quinto quarto (“the fifth quarter”) offal, and luscious verdure, which grow all over; acknowledge the baked pizzas and breads that anchor everyday eating; and explore the ever-changing culture of sweets and cocktails.

With its forgotten recipes, beloved favorites, and street food innovations, the book transports all the flavors of Rome into your kitchen. Narrative features revealing bits of history and gorgeous photography that highlight both the food and its hidden city will immediately inspire you to start Tasting Rome.

Rome & Food. That says it all

God’s Pocket by Pete Dexter @Rose City Reader

In this striking debut from the author of the National Book Award winner Paris Trout, Pete Dexter chronicles a murder and its consequences in the fictional blue-collar Philadelphia neighborhood of God’s Pocket.

Leon Hubbard makes other men nervous, talking to himself or anyone who will listen about the things he’s cut with his straight razor. So when he crosses the wrong guy on a South Philly construction site and winds up with his head caved in, everyone is content to bury the bad news with the body. Everyone, that is, except Leon’s mother—and a local newspaper columnist hoping the story will resurrect his career. Only a mother could love a man like Leon. But only an outsider could expect to change anything in God’s Pocket.

Reminds me of finding Kaiyo after losing my husband and dog.

SERENA:

Tasting Rome by Katie Parla, Kristina Gill @Library Of Clean Reads was also on my list this week!  I cannot resist Italian food!

Know Tiny Secrets: How To Keep Your Body Private and Safe by Latasha Fleming with illustrations by Colleen Madden @Rose City Reader

Know Tiny Secrets” is a guide for little and big people. A guide to understanding how wonderful and special you are and how your body belongs to YOU. There are NO tiny secrets when it comes to keeping your body private and safe. The concept behind kNOw Tiny Secrets is to “know” the secrets of abuse, so there will be NO secrets. This book embraces children from all walks of life,including special needs children; with the hopes of broadening the awareness of child sexual abuse and those affected. This book is a way of teaching children about sexual abuse at an early age, which is important, as well as empowering.

This is something that could help broach some sensitive topics with my daughter.

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8 thoughts on “Books That Caught Our Eye

  1. Tasting Rome and In God’s Pocket caught my eye too.

    I would LOVE to have that cookbook. Love Italian food…and… I am Italian. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.

    Love the picks. It would be difficult for me to choose favorites. LOL!!

    Elizabeth

  2. Literary Starbucks, Unearthed, and Know Tiny Secrets are all great choices. They were on my list along with the two I ended up with, but I had to cut it down to two!

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