Friday, May 07, 2021

Recent Reading

Here are some books I've read recently. Writing reviews would be challenging, and I just don't feel like it! The fiction has some really great food descriptions, so I've put in one quote for each novel to give you the flavor. 

I found Mark Bittman's Animal, Vegetable, Junk
to be disappointing. I just didn't learn enough.

The Ruth Galloway novels by Elly Griffiths
are fun to read. This is the third in a long series.
I wrote about first two novels here and here.

"Ruth is reminded of a public school (which is surprising as she went to a plate-glass comprehensive). She can almost smell the school lunch—cabbage and overcooked lamb." (Elly Griffiths. The House at Sea's End  p. 31).   


Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner is a book about grief.
I found it both wonderful (especially about food) and unbearably sad.

"Inside the dining room were heavy stone-top tables, each equipped with a hardwood charcoal grill. Nami slipped the waitress twenty thousand won, and our table quickly filled with the most exquisite banchan. Sweet pumpkin salad, gelatinous mung-bean jelly topped with sesame seeds and scallions, steamed egg custard, delicate bowls of nabak kimchi, wilted cabbage and radish in salty, rose-colored water. We finished the meal with naengmyeon, cold noodles you could order bibim, mixed with gochujang, or mul, served in a cold beef broth. I chose the latter." (Michelle Zauner. Crying in H Mart, p. 203.)   

Another sad book: A Single Swallow by Zhang Ling.  

"But more than that, you were a tall, imposing figure, with a physique derived from beef, eggs, butter, and cheese, where our stomachs only knew porridge, radishes, and salted fish all year-round. A wall separated you from the Chinese students, a wall called English." (Zhang Ling. A Single Swallow, p. 230.) 


15 comments:

Tandy | Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

Good for you not to force yourself into doing reviews. Sounds like the title of the first book over delivered?

Iris Flavia said...

The last one sounds really interesting - as the first, but I won´t read a boring book....

Jackie McGuinness said...

Some great selections here, I've added to my TBR list!

My name is Erika. said...

I like Mark Bittman, but its too bad this book doesn't sound like he's really created something new. I have and use a few of his cookbooks though. And too bad the other books are so sad. I read Children of the Land back in March. It was a good story but so sad too-it's about Daca children. Thanks for sharing these.

Jeanie said...

I love the Elly Griffiths and Crying in H Mart sounds like something I should get. Thanks, Mae!

bill burke said...

Nice selection of books there.

DVArtist said...

Looks like all good books. Have a nice Saturday.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

How could we live without books? I am one of those for whom on-line reading will never replace the sheer joy of holding a book, turning the pages, flipping back and forth.....

Sue Jackson said...

I love your approach of including one food-related quote from each book! Very fun and intriguing.

Hope you enjoyed these.

Sue

Book By Book

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I can understand how hard it is to do a proper book review. I like how you shared your feelings as well as a quote from each. They all seem so sad except the first one. That can be a bit depressing if everything you have read is so sad as these were this month.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

For me, less is more with reviews. You've given me exactly enough to know if I want to look for a book or pass on it.

For example, I was starting to write down the title of the new Bittman book and I saw your frank comment and---scratch! Pass.

What foodie could resist the passage from Crying in H Mart? No one I know.

Ideal. Thank you, Mae.

Elza Reads said...

I've never read a Elly Griffiths, still need to!

You don't always need to write reviews. Just when you feel you really have something to say about a book. Oh and of course when the publishers request one... Or Netgalley. Oh the pressure!

Have a good week!

Elza Reads

Mae Travels said...

@Elza — I never request or accept free books in exchange for a review, so no pressure from publishers or Netgallery ... only from my own plans and thoughts. I write when I enjoy writing, and that’s all. I have accepted some free Kindle books from amazon.com, but with no strings attached.

best... mae

Vicki said...

The first two books look very good! Have a great week!

Marg said...

Some times the review is just that step too far right!