This is the last day you can vote for a title to be considered for the 2009 Cybils. Not sure what to add to the list? Here are a few suggestions. You don’t have to have read it to nominate it – I didn’t read the one I nominated but plan to and had heard such good things about it, I thought the committee should give it a shot.
…to be fair, it’s more like a few of what I’ve read and a few of what I’m reading.
Someone Named Eva: World War II story. Czech-born Milada taken to reprogramming camp & adopted to German family. Becomes Eve. Terrifying based-on-truth story.
This is just to whet your appetite for a longer, fuller discussion of male reading habits. This past week, I had the chance to listen to Michael Sullivan give a talk about getting boys reading. If you get the chance, please see him, listen to him, and most importantly, TALK ABOUT HIM with the boys in your life.
One of his key points that I want to quickly mention is that all males who become readers can name that book that turned them into readers. It’s one book that made reading something to them in ways no education or program had. This weekend, while among a number of my close male friends, I asked them to name that book. And they all could and they all did.
Sullivan has a belief for many boys, it’s a fantasy book. More on why in a future post. But for now, tell me one of two things:
1. What was the book that turned a male in your life on to reading (or if you’re one of the rare males reading this blog — statistically speaking — what was it for you)?
2. If you are a female, can you name the book that turned you on to reading? One title that made you a reader? Or have you always been a reader?
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a bit about guy reading habits and books they dig. It’s an important and underdiscussed topic. Feel free — i.e., PLEASE — chime in. I am eager to hear your thoughts.
I love food. It’s a borderline obsessive thing. I like to eat, I like to go out to new restaurants, I love to cook. At the reference desk, I always have various food blogs open in the background. I’m always making something new and bringing it in… and of course, I’m always on the hunt for good cookbooks. Faithful readers have seen evidence of this obsession in earlier cookbook reviews.
Martha Hall Foose won a James Beard award in the American Cookery category for her book Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook. And I completely understand why, and I’ve only just made one recipe!
I read this cookbook like a novel. Foose throws us into the slow Mississippi Delta world that she loves so much. Every recipe has a history; we meet characters like Aunt Mary Stigler Thompson – a woman who declares none of the entrants in the mayonnaise making competition are “as good as my own”; Mrs. Ethel Wright Mohamed, a woman who stitched hundreds of tea towels to remember her beloved late husband; and M. Taylor Bowen Ricketts who cooked black-eyed peas just as well as she painted. Foose’s notes section with cooking instructions are just as charming as the histories that grace every recipe.
Oh, and the food. Huge color photographs adorn nearly every page of complex, beautiful, mouth-watering Southern food. From curried sweet potato soup with pork rind croutons to banana puddings served in a mason jar to field peas with snaps… I was hungry every time I picked up this book. I took my time with Screen Doors and Sweet Tea – in fact, I took so long that it’s now over-due. I had to quickly photocopy all of the recipes I want to try and return it to the library. I know I’m not the only one who’s actually cooked from this book – at the front, I found a post-it note from another patron who had meticulously written out each recipe that she tried.
Southern cooking is not fast, nor is it easy. Many recipes require hours of prep work, and I know that I don’t have a lot of time for this kind of cooking during my hectic work week. But for special occasions, I will definitely make a caramel cake. Or the greens with cornbread croutons. Or overnight dinner rolls.
Oh, it’s time to start planning the next dinner with Foose. And I’m adding this book to my Christmas wish list. I foresee running out of shelf space at this rate.
… and it was tasty!
Don’t worry, we’re not announcing the winner of the latest giveaway early. You still have until October 19th to enter.
Instead, I wanted to share the end result of a recipe from a cookbook I reviewed earlier in the summer, The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas. I didn’t have my camera handy for many of my previous cooking ventures, but I grabbed a few snaps of the finished Burgundy Beef last night. It was too beautiful not to record for posterity. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Ojakangas’ book, maybe these pictures will change your mind.