I just finished KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST by J. Ryan Stradal. I enjoyed it! So if you're looking for the perfect summer (or end of summer) reading, pick this one up. It's a great story and I love how it's told (a different POV every chapter)... Warning: it literally makes you want to cook.
By the way, reading the reviews I assumed the book was going to be more fairy-tale-ish than it is -- or a sort of myth, an allegory. But it's not that way. This was not a disappointment for me, since I'm not always a fan those kinds of books. I did enjoy the writing greatly -- it's warm and funny.
And, like the title suggests, it's about the midwest! Yay -- more books about the midwest please. This one actually had the name of my hometown (Hudson, WI) in it too. I think it was the source of an ingredient for one of Eva Thorvald's famous dishes. Ha! Oh yes, I enjoyed that too.
Also, I've gotta recommend KITCHEN by Banana Yoshimoto. That is a lovely, lovely book. It's quirky, and a perfect examination of grief (but in a funny, sad way). Oh yes -- lovely. And her writing voice -- wow. And this is a translation from the Japanese...
What's up next on my list?
I see David Allen on my last book update too. Yup, I'm still working through it. He's good, but I need in him small doses so I can take it in. (I've read all of his other books too. I love his system for "getting things done," which is also the title of his first book.)
As for THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, I read that book in college and I need to read it again. It didn't hit me very hard in college. I think I didn't want to think about those details then -- just wanted to express myself in a textual Jackson Pollock sort of way. (There's a big limit to that metaphor since Pollock was a master at what he did, and the writing I did in college? Ah NO -- not masterly, not at all.)
And for all of you who've been put off by the heft of the Thomas Merton -- you can read this thing in chunks. Yes! I've been reading this thing on and off for three years -- three years! But yet, every time I pick it up it's like meeting an old friend. That astonishes me. How does Merton do this? Merton is another writer for me to emulate.
Okay, that's it. I'd love to hear what you've been reading, so feel free to tell all. I hope all is well with all of you!
Okay, I'm working on my novel. Back to work, back to work, back to work.