Daily Archives: April 8, 2015

What I’ve Been Reading

Do my reading tastes so far this year have a pattern or not? Take a gander at the list below and judge for yourself!

Cat Person by Seo Kim – You don’t have to be a cat person to enjoy this collection of comix. There are many panels those who are over-fond of felines will be able to relate to, but there are many more that will speak to single females, those in search of relationships, and those seeking to sustain them. I make this sound more boring than it is. What this graphic novel is, is laugh-out-loud funny. And I have two teenagers to back me up on this opinion.

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr – Huguette Clark inherited a lot of money from her father, copper baron and Senator W.A. Clark. When I say a lot of money, I mean A LOT OF MONEY. How she chose to live her reclusive life, whom she associated with and how she spent her money became the subject of scrutiny and speculation from the press when she passed away at the age of 104 on May of 2011.  Which was exactly what she didn’t want. And by all accounts, she didn’t want her family fighting over her will and money, but that’s exactly what happened also. This well-researched and extensive history of Huguette’s family and life is alternately fascinating and frustrating for the reader. You’ll sympathize with her, but also want to shake her silly!

Extra Virgin: Recipes and Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen by Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar, photographs by Eric Wolfinger – This cookbook is a feast for your eyes as well as your stomach. The recipes have been photographed beautifully. I also enjoyed the stories about each of the recipes. I’m a huge fan of Italian food and there are several things in here that I can’t wait to try. I’m considering adding this to my personal cookbook collection.

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. – Although the kids I share my life with are teenagers, I wanted to peruse this book to see if there were tips for dealing with some of the situations that continue to confound me, like getting homework done without drama. There most definitely are suggestions for that particular situation, but what I appreciated most was the practical advice for how to talk to your kids so they develop those parts of their brain that allow them to develop critical thinking skills. As well as the concession by the experts writing the book that no parent is perfect, not even them. (And they each tell a story of a time when they didn’t follow their own suggestions and how poorly it turned out. You’ll feel better about your parenting skills almost immediately!)

Pittsburgh Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Steel City by Laura Zorch, Sarah Sudar, Amanda McFadden, and Julia Gongawere – Want to know the person behind those restaurants that are making Pittsburgh the next great food destination? Want to be able to make some of their signature dishes at home? This gorgeous cookbook allows you into the kitchens and minds of the Steel City’s best and brightest. Almost immediately after I finished reading this cookbook, I went online and ordered it to add to my collection.

There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me by Brooke Shields – Brooke Shields’ mother, Teri Shields, was an over-involved stage mother who pushed her child into acting and let her portray a prostitute and be filmed nude at the age of 11. Well, not really. Teri Shields was a relatively high-functioning alcoholic who never coerced her daughter into doing anything she was remotely uncomfortable with, except maybe living with a mean drunk. Because the story of her relationship with her mother has been told incorrectly so many times, Brooke decided it was time to tell it herself. Here you’re going to get the whole story, from Brooke’s point-of-view, of course.

Underwire by Jennifer Hayden – This graphic novel by a mother of two is an almost-too-honest look at life, relationships and parenting. If you are a parent, you will see yourself in the pages. If you are married, you will see yourself in these stories. If you are a woman, you will see yourself in these illustrations.

What have YOU been reading?

-Melissa M.

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