Remember when I said I haven’t been reading much and that I was trying to get into it again? Well I found my groove, non-fiction memoir type books about travel or food or both. Dan likes to tease me and say that I’m only interested in books about food because food is all I care about. While Dan is hilarious, I think I just want to feel inspired, and travel + food = adventure. I especially enjoy it if the setting is France. There are a ton, a TON of books with a female voice describing food and cultural experiences in France. That’s what I’m into right now. Dan gave me Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah for Christmas and once I finished that my Mom gave me My Life in France, Julia Child’s memoir. Ann Mah actually references Julia Child’s French experience so it was great timing. Thanks Mama.
The entertainment medium that I am most critical of is literature. With TV, movies, art, fashion, music I can handle and even enjoy the tacky, low-brow, whatever – as long as it’s entertaining and the creator ‘knows their role’ I’m open to it. But with literature I’m much more picky with my choices. Sometimes while reading I’m silently saying to the author, “you could have done better.” “Your chapters in this section were rushed and it sounds like you shoved them in as filler.” It’s one thing when you’re reading a book that’s just for entertainment but when a book has already set the bar for how it’s going to pan out with tone and detail, especially for non fiction pieces, you feel a little cheated. Maybe that’s too strong a word. How about…disappointed? “You were doing so well! Why did you let your book go this direction?!” This is how I felt as I read Ann Mah’s book. Initially I was so into it and loved the history lessons and cultural background, but then it became tedious and detached. I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the history of French food as I enjoyed the book overall, but it could have been so much more!
I’ve never understood the fascination with Julia Child. While reading Ann Mah’s book I couldn’t wrap my head around Ann’s obsession with Julia. Even the movie Julie vs Julia, I didn’t get it. Why did these women need someone to inspire them into action? Is mentioning Julia Child a way to gets you attention in the biz? But then, I read Julia Child’s book. Right away I teared up as I read the intro and a few other times throughout the book. It made me feel like a wacko but there was a connection. Julia has a very lively tone and I admired her constant hustle. She never let anyone discourage her and anytime someone tried I would feel anger at the injustice. Even though I knew things were going to turn out well I was still clutching the book when things went awry; the very fact that her cookbook was rejected multiple times and it took a decade to get published just amazed me. I didn’t want the book to end! A great book will do that. It sweeps you up and you want to savor every second of it. Just like a great meal.