Blogging for Books Review: In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World

December 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

The appeal of In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World by Gabriele Galimberti is multifaceted: part cookbook, part storybook, part photography, and part geography lesson. This book takes readers on a food tour across five continents and gives the ultimate insider look at what a “typical” family recipe or traditional dish might be. Galimberti begins with his grandmother’s own family recipe, Swiss Chard and Ricotta Ravioli with meat sauce, and the recipes that follow range from very accessible—vegetarian tamales—to entirely foreign (from a westerner’s perspective)—Honduran iguana with rice and beans.

The layout of the book is simple; for each recipe there are two two-page spreads. The first is entirely text: the left page is a story about the grandmother, the right is the recipe. The second is a color photo spread: on the left page is a photo of a grandmother standing in her kitchen with each ingredient laid out on the surface in front of her, the right is an overhead close-up of the final prepared dish. While the food looks and sounds delicious, I took more interest in the photos and stories of the grandmothers. As each grandmother is presumably placed in her kitchen, I found it fascinating to compare the tools, colors, and materials showcased in each photograph alongside the grandmothers. These periphery items, coupled with the accompanying recipes, lend additional details to the stories and give unique insights to otherwise foreign cultures.

Thank you, Blogging for Books and Clarkson Potter, for the free book in exchange for an honest review!


Some Literary Inspritation: A Quote

December 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Show up: at your desk, on the page. Show up often, show up with an open heart, show up all hardcore and ready to work. But when you don’t show up, when it’s been days and weeks and months and you haven’t shown up, take a bath. By which I mean: be kind, be gentle. Whatever you do, don’t be an asshole to yourself. Screaming at yourself will—at best—carry you through an hour, a day of work. Ultimately, artistic journeys are about truth and self-discovery, and we can’t be truthful or discover ourselves when someone is yelling at us, even if (or especially if) the yelling is taking place inside our own heads. But here’s the thing: We all live with an inner asshole and he isn’t going anywhere. Which means, we kind of have to learn how to become best friends. Take your inner asshole out on a date. Go to your favorite gallery, spend two hours at a coffee shop with a book, visit a spa—whichever act of kindness can shock your system. When the date is over, ask, Hey, what do you need? Say, I’m trying to write this story, this essay, this novel; is there anything I can do that would make it possible to work tomorrow morning? Ask, how can we do this together? When we’re truly kind, something shifts in us.

Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014)

Review of How to be Alive by Mary Chris Escobar

December 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

PAGES: 233
WORDS: 60-80k
GENRE(S): Women’s Fiction
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace

Stuck in a small college town for the last eight years, Jen has always dreamed of something more for her and her fiancé, Tanner. A sudden opportunity to move forward with her life finally comes, but only in the wake of great tragedy.

*Read the full review at Underground Book Reviews!

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