what i’ve been reading {summer 2014}


(I really wanted to be back to the blog before now, but when I went to post last week, I ran into some major issues. As a result, we’ve spent the past week or so moving servers, and now, hopefully, things can resume semi-normalcy. Coming up: more food, updates on life with baby, and how we’ve survived the whirlwind of the past month food-wise.)

{Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter}

This was probably one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. It is so richly written, both playful and profound at the same time. The story centers around Pasquale, an Italian from a made-up village in Cinque Terre (very cool to read about, since we were there last year) and Dee, an American film actress. The plot travels everywhere, both in time and place, from the 1960s on the set of Cleopatra, to the present day, from Italy to Hollywood. The plot seems to twist with new situations and new characters in such smart ways, but at the heart of the book is the relationship between Dee and Pasquale, which is not always what you expect but so heartwarming in its own way.

{Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl}

I finished this book only hours before I went into labor. So good timing, right? This was such a fun read. It’s all about Reichl’s time as the New York Times restaurant critic, which is such an interesting world. Besides the fact that I can’t imagine getting paid to eat out at nice restaurants constantly, it is all so fascinating, from the critiques she gets to the disguises she has to adapt so that she isn’t recognized. Her reflections aren’t without their lessons though–in the end, when she decides to move on from her job, it is all about her realization that going out to eat so constantly can really be a burden, and it was a reminder of how thankful I am for the time I spend in my kitchen.

{Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker}

I am usually such a careful curator of my “to-be-read” list, and honestly this book wasn’t really on my radar. But in the first weeks of having Evelyn, when things were honestly so much harder than I expected as we found our rhythm, I needed a book of encouragement and this fit the bill. It is a book about Baker’s journey to motherhood, how she lost her mother at a young age and thought that motherhood wasn’t for her, but how it has become exactly what she wanted, even in the hard moments. To be honest, her writing style wasn’t always my favorite, but it was an easy read and a good companion to remind me how thankful I am to have our daughter even when she is screaming in the middle of the night.

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