Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yes, Chef

Marcus Samuelsson's life has had many twists. Born in Ethiopia and saved by his mother who walked he and his sister to the city hospital at the cost of her own life, Samuelsson and his sister were adopted and raised in Sweden. Too small to progress professionaly in soccer, he is inspired by his Swedish grandmother's passion for food to go to culinary school. His memoir focuses on his travels as he learns his craft and builds his reputation through Europe to New York City. He is driven in his career at the expense of his personal life, but his kitchen tales are interesting. The sudden death of a mentor thrusts him into the limelight. The chance to be his own man means he has to buy his own name back from the restaurant firm he worked for. Not gnarly kitchen tales, but the quest of a chef to become great and to learn to have a personal life.

The End of Your Life Book Club

Will Schwalbe has an incredible mother with a great ability to reach out to people. In this memoir she has discovered she has pancreatic cancer. Schwalbe recounts how the two of them forge an even stronger bond as they discuss books as she has her chemo treatments. This is a touching memoir without being overly sentimental. I highly recommend this.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Home is a roof over a pig

I'm ready for the next volume of Arrington's memoirs. I really enjoyed her story of teaching English in China. After her husband's retirement from the military they both go to teach English in smaller city's college. With them on the adventure are their three children, the youngest of which was adopted earlier in China. I really enjoyed her story of becoming integrated into her town and class room. Scattered through out she looks at Chinese characters and breaks down their component parts to see what it says about the culture. Just really enjoyed this memoir.