Thursday, January 26, 2006

I Love Hearing from Readers

M&G reader Jennine, a grad student in Melbourne who used to live in my great city, just pointed me to this 50 Books post about MFK Fisher’s An Alphabet for Gourmets. My interest in that book is certainly piqued…and I’m also reminded that I’ve been sitting on an MFK Fisher book for almost two months now. My mother-in-law found it in her bookshelf and gave it to me sometime around early December. I started it, but then got caught up in Christmas and my birthday, and somehow forgot about it. I need to get back on that.

And speaking of books, I’ve been a little remiss in my book reviewing these days. When I last left you, I still had two more unread books from the Christmas Gift Collection, plus the grand volume of Escoffier. I haven’t come close to cracking the Escoffier - it’s sitting, rather intimidatingly, next to the Fisher book, staring at me from my office table. It’s as though they think I can’t handle reading their truth.

But I have read the other two: The Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke and Is there a Nutmeg in the House? by Elizabeth David.

Well, that’s sort of a lie. I didn’t really read both…I tried to read both. The Peach Cobbler Murder was an awful lot like The Fudge Cupcake Murder. Except that the small-town, unrealistic vibe and insane level of detail that was charming in the first book became so grating I couldn’t finish the second. So there you go.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it through the nutmeg book either, but for very different reasons. David is a good writer – it’s not her fault. The book is a collection of essays, published posthumously, and they’re really all quite nice. However, David is British, and a lot of the essays are much older, and there’s just something about the combination that makes it hard for me to relate to the author and the subject matter. I was never hooked in, and the essay format made it easy to put the book down and forget about it.

Since then, I’ve been on a magazine kick, and have been reading some books that (gasp) aren’t about food. I’d like to think it’s keeping me fresh. Once I’ve finished my current stash from the library, though, it’ll finally be time to tackle that big pile of Fisher and Escoffier. Really, I could do without their mocking me from their comfortable table. I will show them who’s boss.

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