Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This Month in Non-Fiction

Ugh, you guys.  July has been all over the place.  I'm behind on my laundry, I'm behind on my reading, I'm behind on this blog.  You should know that I'm already on episode eight of season three of Pretty Little Liars.  I'm going to try to catch my posts up; bear with me. 


On The Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta
by Jen Lin-Liu


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.


I love noodles, so this book seemed right up my alley.  And I would say it lived up to my expectations.  I learned a hell of a lot about the cuisine of the countries represented, and I have a few extra places to add to my "Future Travels" list.  Turkey in particular surprised me, because it's a country I've really never thought about before. 

One of the things that I really appreciated about this book was the way that Jen Lin-Liu approaches the idea of marriage.  Her plans to travel the silk road in search of the history of noodles means separating from her husband for months at a time while they are still in their newlywed stage.  She questions what exactly it means to be a spouse and an individual at the same time.  That's something I think every couple questions at some point, especially if they haven't had children yet, and I like that it became an important part of her journey.

The book comes with recipes at the end of each country's section, and I'm excited to try some of them.  I can see myself rereading this once or twice.


Delicious Sounding Meals
  • a paste of crushed rose petals and sugar, along with another sugary, mint paste that she mixed with tea that she got from a pharmacy in China
  • black tea with sugar syrup, served with dried dates, rosewater pudding with crushed pistachios and cookies flavored with cardamom and nutmeg in Iran
  • eggplants, tomatoes and pumpkins dried and candied and formed into balls before being topped with clotted cream in Turkey
  • thin phyllo rolled around a cheese and leek mixture, sealed with egg white and coiled into rose shapes before being deep fried and served with honey in Turkey
  • tomatoes on top of thick bread, sliced into slivers and topped with salt and olive oil as a snack in Italy

Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.




My Korean Deli: Risking it All for a Convenience Store
by Ben Ryder Howe


This book has been on my TBR for what seems like forever.  I can't even remember how I first heard about it.

Ben and his wife move in with her parents in order to save money.  While there, they decide to purchase a deli for her parents to run so that they can make a better living.

It was an interesting enough memoir, although very depressing.  The process of buying and running the deli seemed so stressful, that reading about it made me really anxious.  Everyone suffers from declining health due to all the hours they work, Ben's mother-in-law most of all.  This is not a book I would suggest reading if you are thinking of starting your own business, unless you need some advice on what NOT to do, or you're looking for a reason to avoid the whole business thing in the first place.


Read more reviews for this book on LibraryThing.





 Paris My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (And Dark Chocolate)
by Amy Thomas


This is a pretty fun, light read; perfect for summer vacation.  Amy Thomas gets offered a position with her advertising agency that involves transferring to Paris for a year.  Luckily, Amy is already obsessed with Paris.  She's also obsessed with sweets, which are abundant in Paris and NYC, where she lived before she transferred.

This book made me so hungry.  I don't understand how Amy managed to survive a year of the best cakes/macarons/crumbles/crepes in the world and only gain five extra pounds.  Must be all the biking she did.  I was a little worried during the first half of the book that the whole thing was going to be a bit too cheesy.  Everything about her life in Paris was so perfect and sunshine and roses.  But the realistic parts of living in a foreign country away from your friends and family eventually showed up.  I'd never given any thought before to how difficult it would be to date in a place where you're not entirely sure of the language and the culture is so cliquish. 

Definitely read this if you're into dessert.  DO NOT read this if you are on a diet!  It will only make you depressed.  If you're not on a diet, you will probably wind up eating Nutella straight from the jar.  Don't judge me.


Read more reviews about this book on LibraryThing.

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