The Book I Lugged Around The World

Here it is, The Goldfinch. In some fancy hotel lobby around the world. At nearly 800 pages, lugging this beast around the world has not been easy on my shoulders. It has come with me everywhere this fall - Mexico, Ireland, the Galapagos, London, Berlin, Paris, and now Lisbon, where I finally finished it.

I've had some pretty heated discussions with my friends over this book. I loved it from page one, and was completely sucked in. Then I let it go for a few weeks. I didn't even open it in Ireland. Towards the end, I lost interest and then it came roaring back. The final paragraphs completely slayed me.

I will never forget Theo Decker, or any of the characters. Hobie, Pippa, his mother, his father, Boris, Andy, Kitsey, Mrs. Barbour...and so on. They are all burned in my mind, as real as anything.  Through it all - a characterization of New York City that absolutely blew me away.

"That life—whatever else it is—is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it.

That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch."

To love what Death doesn't touch - he is referring to artwork that passes on from one generation to the next. Beautiful writing make my heart beat fast, like when you're falling in love.

What are you reading? I also just finished This is Where I Leave You in about three days. Roaringly funny and poignant.

What Are You Reading?

What are you reading lately? I feel so giddy and satisfied with reading a slew of great books lately. Books that you can't wait to get back into when you're forced to put them down.

Though I've been less into food lately (more of an "eat to live" mentality rather than "live to eat"), I am absolutely loving David Lebovitz's book My Paris Kitchen. It is so much more than a cookbook but rather an insider look into Paris, French food, the globalization of food, and David's own kitchen and personality. His sense of humor - laugh out loud funny in such a self-deprecating, humble way - and warmth is present in every beautiful page. 

I also have loved Extra Virgin, the cookbook focusing on Tuscan cuisine from Debi Mazar (from 101 Dalmatians! Entourage!) & her Italian husband. I've made nothing from it but the stories are compelling and I can't wait to actually cook from it.

Where'd You Go Bernadette? - If you read one book, make it this one. I laughed out loud the entire book, and finished in three days. There are not many books like this out there! Perfection.

The Light Between Oceans - I can say that it's a heartbreaking & poignant read about a couple who can't have children, finds a baby and raises it as their own. I'd be right. It also takes you to the farthest, remote corners of Australia in such an evocative way. But every time I hear a book described as "heartbreaking," I think "No thanks!" Trust me - this book is so great and thought-provoking. You will not be able to put it down.

The Husband's Secret - Another page-turner. The last chapter wraps it all up perfectly.

The Aviator's Wife - A fictionalized account on the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Totally fascinating. Not the stuff you learn about in American history class. And now I'm convinced that Charles Lindbergh had something to do with the kidnapping of his baby boy. Whoa. He was definitely not the nicest man.

Delicious! - If you like NYC, food, magazines and/or simply fun books, this one's for you. I am such a huge Ruth Reichl fan (I never miss any of her blog posts) and loving this spring read. Update: It starts out strong, falters in the middle, and gets better at the end.

Also on my (overly crowded) nightstand...

The Interestings (started it and loving it) & Me Before You 

Plus one book I read but didn't love: Dare Me. A book for young adults set in the crazy world of high school cheerleading? Count me in. Not this one. It's just creepy.