Another in a series of "I don't really have anything in my life to write about" posts. I've really gotten into memoirs lately. I think this might be connected to my obsession with blogs. Memoirs are like "smart blogs." Those of you who know me, know I enjoy reading the blogs of not only friends, but also friends of friends or people I don't even know at all. Well, memoir is an even more socially-sanctioned way to be nosy and peer into other peoples' lives. Here are a few that I've enjoyed lately:
All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
This is the memoir of a man who grew up dirt-poor in the rural Deep South. He went on to write for the New York Times and won the Pulitzer Prize, despite not having a college education. The book is really a testament to the woman who raised him and his two brothers so well, in spite of her abusive, alcoholic husband and extreme poverty. Overall, it is very sad, but there are a lot of moments of humor. Bragg's writing style is very approachable; he's maintained his Southern idioms, and the way he retains his "momma's" speech patterns and accent in dialogue is hilarious.
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
This is the memoir of a New York Times restaurant critic. (Hmmm...I guess I really like reading about people who work for the New York Times). She has to go to great lengths to disguise herself when she goes to review a restaurant. If the restaurant staff recognizes her, they won't give her the same service as everyone else. It's crazy how serious restaurant reviews are in New York City. Reichl is very witty, and it's so fun to live vicariously through her. I mean, who wouldn't want to get paid to eat at fancy restaurants?
My Life in France by Julia Child (with Alex Prud'homme)
Even though I love cooking, I didn't know much about Julia Child before reading this book. She didn't learn how to cook until she was almost 40! That makes what she acoomplished so much more incredible. It was fascinating to read about all of the work that went into publishing her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. We take it for granted now that there are tons of cookbooks and online resources that provide extremely detailed step-by-step instructions for making just about anything. But, at the time, Child's cookbook was pretty much the most comprehensive cookbook ever written. She was the first person to publish how to make mayonnaise, for example. It can be a little dry in places, but if you enjoy cooking (or Europe), you'll probably enjoy it.
You can see where my passion lies...food! If I'm not making and eating it, then I want to read about it.
Anyone read anything good recently? Leave me a comment with your recommendations. They don't have to be about food. :)