My Kitchen Year

reichl jacketMy Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl

In October, 2009, Ruth, the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, was shocked to learn that the publisher was ceasing publication of Gourmet, which debuted in 1941. Even though the December issue was at the printers, and three more issues were planned, no more magazines would be published. Amidst this turmoil, she still has to launch “Adventures with Ruth”, a 10-episode travel and food television show, and go on tour for the brand new Gourmet Today cookbook, which she had edited. In the year that followed, Ruth wrote copy for the Gourmet Cookie Book, and tried to reinvent herself; not easy at 61. With her husband Michael, she spent a very cold and snowy winter at their country house, and decided to sublet their NYC apartment. Used to dining out on an expense account as a food critic, Ruth now has the leisure to visit farmers’ markets and to cook seasonally. Photographs of upstate New York and many recipes add to the appeal of this gorgeous book. Laid up part of the year recovering from an injury, Ruth also begins her first novel, Delicious!, which the Tuesday evening book group is discussing on January 26 at 7:00 p.m. Next I plan to read Garlic and Sapphires, about her life as a food critic, often in disguise.

Wishing you an adventurous year of reading!

Brenda

If you’re looking for more memoirs, check out our book display called “A Year in the Life: Yearlong Projects, Adventures, and Travels”. Here is the accompanying booklist:

A Year in the Life: Yearlong Projects, Adventures, and Travels

028.8 San Sankovitch, Nina. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair. 2011
028.9 Mil Miller, Andy. The Year of Reading Dangerously. 2014
158 Rub Rubin, Gretchen. The Happiness Project. 2009
158.1 Kir Kirshenbaum, Mira. The Gift of a Year. 2000
158.1 Kra Kravitz, Lee. Unfinished Business. 2015
277.3 She Shea, Suzanne Strempek. Sundays in America. 2008
278.95 Ros Roscher, Ellie. How Coffee Saved My Life. 2009
303.483 Bre Brende, Eric. Better Off. 2004
306.3 Bru Bruno, Dave. The 100 Thing Challenge. 2010
330.973 And Anderson, Maggie. Our Black Year. 2012
331.702 Aik Aiken, Sean. The One-Week Job Project. 2010
332.4 Wol Wolman, David. The End of Money. 2012
338.476 Cle Clemens, Paul. Punching Out. 2011
362.18 Kar Karam, J.A. Into the Breach. 2002
362.21 Vin Vincent, Norah. Voluntary Madness. 2008
365.43 Ker Kerman, Piper. Orange is the New Black. 2011
365.6 Smi Smith, Jeff. Mr. Smith Goes to Prison. 2015
371.1 Bro Brown, Dan. The Great Expectations School. 2007
371.1 Dan Danza, Tony. I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had. 2012
371.1 Foo Foote, Donna. Relentless Pursuit. 2008
382.60951 Bon Bongiorni, Sara. A Year Without “Made in China.” 2007
577.56 Hol Holmes, Hannah. Suburban Safari. 2005
595.78 Pyl Pyle, Robert Michael. Mariposa Road. 2010
598 Kau Kaufman, Kenn. Kingbird Highway. 1997
598.07 Obm Obmascik, Mark. The Big Year. 2004
598.159 Kro Kroodsma, Donald. Birdsong by the Seasons. 2009
599.773 Tha Thayer, Helen. Three Among the Wolves. 2004
610.92 Mcc McCarthy, Matt. The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly. 2015
613.2 Jac Jacobs, A.J. Drop Dead Healthy. 2012
613.2 Law Lawson, Tracey. A Year in the Village of Eternity. 2011
616.83 Spe Spencer-Wendel, Susan. Until I Say Good-Bye. 2013
616.8526 Kuf Kuffel, Frances. Angry Fat Girls. 2010
616.8589 Ell Ellison, Katherine. Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention. 2010
630.092 Kim Kimball, Kristin. The Dirty Life. 2010
630.584 Cha Chaskey, Scott. This Common Ground. 2005
635 Lap Lapp, Laura. An Amish Garden. 2013
635.0484 Bro Brockman, Terra. The Seasons of Henry’s Farm. 2009
636.7 Kat Katz, Jon. A Dog Year. 2002
636.7 Mil Miles, Kathryn. Adventures with Ari. 2009
636.7527 Abr Abramson, Jill. The Puppy Diaries. 2011
640.73 Lev Levine, Judith. Not Buying It. 2006
641.013 Maj Majumdar, Simon. Eat My Globe. 2009
641.3 Gre Greenslate, Christopher. On a Dollar a Day. 2010
641.3 Kin Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. 2007
641.5 Erw Erway, Cathy. The Art of Eating In. 2010
641.5 Smi Smith, Alisa. Plenty. 2007
641.552 Mat Mather, Robin. The Feast Nearby. 2011
641.564 Rei Reichl, Ruth. My Kitchen Year. 2015
641.815 Ale Alexander, William. 52 Loaves. 2010
649.1 Wym Wyma, Kay Wills. Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. 2012
664.132 Why Whynott, Douglas. The Sugar Season. 2014
746.432 Mar Martini, Adrienne. Sweater Quest. 2010
788.9 Ree Rees, Jasper. A Devil to Play. 2008
791.43 Rub Rabin, Nathan. My Year of Flops. 2010
795.412 Hol Holden, Anthony. Bigger Deal. 2007
796.352 Fei Feinstein, John. Moment of Glory. 2010
796.357 Sha Shaugnessy, Dan. Senior Year. 2007
796.72 Bec Bechtel, Mark. He Crashed Me, So I Crashed Him Back. 2010
798.2 Hus Husher, Helen. Conversations With a Prince. 2003
798.4 Cho Chong, Kevin. My Year of the Racehorse. 2012
798.4 Smi Smiley, Jane. A Year at the Races. 2004
809 Beh Beha, Christopher. The Whole Five Feet. 2009
818.6 Lan Lancaster, Jen. The Tao of Martha. 2013
910.4 Gil Gilbert, Elizabeth. Eat, Pray, Love. 2006
956.70443 Ste Stewart, Rory. The Prince of the Marshes. 2006
974.7 Roa Roach, Margaret. And I Shall Have Some Peace There. 2011
BIO Han Hancock, Noelle. My Year with Eleanor. 2011
BIO Hel Heller, Peter. Kook. 2010
BIO Loh Loh, Sandra Tsing. The Madwoman in the Volvo. 2014
BIO Mah Mah, Ann. Mastering the Art of French Eating. 2013
BIO Okr Okrant, Robin. Living Oprah. 2008
BIO Oxe Oxenhandler, Noelle. The Wishing Year. 2008
BIO Per Perry, Michael. Coop. 2009
BIO Rhi Rhimes, Shonda. Year of Yes. 2015
BIO Wal Wallace, Danny. Friends Like These. 2009

 

 

 


Best Books

The Best Books We Read in 2015

Here is a list of the best (or favorite) books the reference and readers advisory staff  at the Woodridge Public Library read or listened to in 2015. Not every book was published in 2015, but most of them are. Happy Reading!  Brenda

Audiobooks
Fink, Joseph and Jeffery Cranor. Welcome to Night Vale (Denise)
Tahir, Sabaa. An Ember in the Ashes. Read by Fiona Hardingham and Steve West (Beth)

Fiction
Atkinson, Kate. A God in Ruins (Pam)night vale jacket
Brennan, M.L. Dark Ascension (Denise)
Doerr, Anthony. All the Light We Cannot See (Brenda)
Gaiman, Neil. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances (Chris)
Haruf, Kent. Our Souls at Night (Brenda)
Laurenston, Shelly. The Unleashing (Denise)
Mandel, Emily St. John. Station Eleven (Pam)
Mitchell, David. The Bone Clocks (Brenda)
Morrison, Toni. God Help the Child (Chris)
Thorpe, Rufi. Dear Fang, With Love (Denise)
Tyler, Anne. A Spool of Blue Thread (Chris)

Graphic Novel
Fraction, Matt. Hawkeye. Vol. 3, L.A. Woman (Denise)

Mysteries
Flanders, Judith. A Murder of Magpies (Brenda)
Hart, Elsa. Jade Dragon Mountain (Brenda)
Penny, Louise. The Nature of the Beast (Pam)
Pulley, Natasha. The Watchmaker on Filigree Street (Brenda)

Science Fiction & Fantasynature of the beast jacket
Butcher, Jim. Working for Bigfoot: Stories from the Dresden Files (Denise)
Gibson, William. The Peripheral (Denise)
Koch, Gini. Alien Separation (Denise)
Novik, Naomi. Uprooted (Chris)
Robinson, Kim Stanley. Aurora (Brenda)
Schwab, V.E. A Darker Shade of Magic (Chris)

Teen Fiction
Green, Sally. Half Bad (Beth)
Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl (Denise)

Non-Fiction
Beard, Mary. S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome (Chris)
Bock, Laszlo. Work Rules! (Chris)
Brown, Daniel James. The Boys in the Boat (Brenda)
Buck, Rinker. The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (Brenda)
Chapman, Bob & Raj Sisodia. Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family (Chris)
Gawand, Atul. Being Mortal (Beth)
Grazer, Brian. A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (Chris)
Langguth, A. J. After Lincoln : How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace (Joel)
Larson, Erik. Dead Wake (Brenda)
McCullough, David. The Wright Brothers (Brenda)
Murphy, Brian. 81 Days Below Zero (Brenda)


What I’m Reading Now

You may have noticed that I read quite a few books. I thought you might like a look at the stack of books I’m currently reading. At home, for pleasure, I’m reading Laurie King’s new mystery Dreaming Spies, set in 1920s dreaming spies jacketJapan and Oxford, featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. I am also reading a cookbook from 2007, Mediterranean Harvest, by Martha Rose Shulman. I’m reading All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr, on many lists of notable books published in 2014, because I’m considering it for a future book discussion. The book is narrated by a blind French girl and an orphaned German youth who can repair radios and is caught up in World War II. Because I’m trying to finish this book, I’m neglecting two books I’ve already started: Firefight, by Brandon Sanderson, a young adult fantasy novel and The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough, which is being published this May (I have an digital review copy). Next up at home (or for breaks at work) are Dead Wake, Erik Larson’s new book about the Lusitania and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, by Rachel Joyce, a companion novel to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

In the car, I’m listening to a recording of The Corsican Caper, by Peter Mayle, a fun novel set in and around Marseilles, France, with descriptions of many great meals and a subplot about a Russian billionaire who wants to buy a house that’s not for sale.

At work, I’m re-reading At Home, by Bill Bryson and Lisette’s List, by Susan Vreeland, both for book discussions later this month.

Books I’m looking forward to reading but don’t have yet include Double Fudge Brownie Murder, by Joanne Fluke and Better than Before, by Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project. I recently finished reading Dead Heat, by Patricia Briggs, featuring werewolves Anna and Charles Smith. The last audiobook I listened to was a medieval mystery by Ellis Peters. Any suggestions for what to read next?

Brenda


Big Fall Cookbooks

Here is a varied list of some of the best cookbooks published this fall. Enjoy! -Brenda

The Baking Bible. Rose Levy Berenbaum

A collection of recipes from simple to elaborate from an author known for her foolproof recipes, with plenty of baking advice and gorgeous photos.

Baking Chez Moi. Dorie Greenspanbaking chez moi jacket

Impressive but not too fussy recipes for a variety of French desserts from a well-known cookbook author who lives part-time in Paris.

Holiday Cookies. Chicago Tribune staff

Three decades of award-winning cookies created by Chicago Tribune readers.

How to Cook Everything Fast. Mark Bittman

Clear, step-by-step recipes with variations make efficient use of a cook’s time, but some of these delicious recipes are not what I’d consider fast.

The Kitchn Cookbook. Sara Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand

Part cookbook and part friendly advice on stocking, organizing, cleaning, and designing kitchens, from the editors of a popular food blog.

Make it Ahead. Ina Garten

75 recipes you can make ahead of time, including a Thanksgiving feast. holiday cookies jacket

One Pot. Editors of Martha Stewart Living

120 recipes for weekday dinners, including desserts, using skillets, slow cookers, large pots, roasting pans, and more.

Plenty More. Yotam Ottolenghi

New recipes from a London chef known for his very creative Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired vegetable dishes.

Prune. Gabrielle Hamilton

Unconventional, minimalist recipes with hand-written notes from a New York chef.

Twelve Recipes. Cal Peternell

Originally written for his son in college, these detailed recipes (actually several dozen) may inspire a love of food and cooking.

 


Discussible Books

October is National Reading Group Month! Learn more about it here.        

I’ve updated a list of discussible books. These are books that have been discussed at the Woodridge Public Library in the past several years, and which have all led to lively discussions. Some of the titles were not universally liked, but that can make for memorable discussions.  Enjoy!  Brenda

Discussible Books 

Fiction

Benjamin, Melanie. The Aviator’s Wife

Chevalier, Tracy. The Last Runaway

Coomer, Joe. Pocketful of Names

deWitt, Patrick. The Sisters Brothers

Doig, Ivan. The Whistling Season

Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light

Dunant, Sarah. Sacred Hearts

Erdrich, Louise. The Round House

Follett, Ken. Pillars of the Earth

Ford, Jamie. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Gloss, Molly. The Hearts of Horses

Hill, Lawrence. Someone Knows My Name

James, P.D. Death Comes to Pemberley

Joyce, Rachel. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

King, Laurie. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Kingsolver, Barbara. Prodigal Summer

Kline, Christina Baker. Orphan Train

Larsson, Stieg. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

McLain, Paula. The Paris Wife

Moon, Elizabeth. The Speed of Dark

O’Nan, Stewart. Last Night at the Lobster

Parkin, Gaile. Baking Cakes in Kigali

See, Lisa. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Semple, Maria. Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Shaffer, Mary Ann and Annie Barrows. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Simonson, Helen. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Stockett, Kathryn. The Help

Trigiani, Adriana. The Shoemaker’s Wife

Vreeland, Susan. Clara and Mr. Tiffany; Luncheon of the Boating Party

Walls, Jeannette. Half Broke Horses; Silver Star

 

Non-Fiction

Algeo, Matthew. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure

Beavan, Colin. No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process

Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Caputo, Philip. The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean

Child, Julia with Alex Prudhomme. My Life in France

Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business

Goodman, Matthew. Eighty days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World

Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Krist, Gary. City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago

Kurson, Robert. Shadow Divers : The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

Millard, Candice. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President

Salisbury, Laney & Aly Sujo. Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art

 


The Best Books We Read This Year

Here is a list of some of the best books we read this year:

Fiction:

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (Joel)

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (Brenda)

Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Jeanne)

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Pam)

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold (Brenda)

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (Jeanne)

Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland (Jeanne)

Dark Days by Dewy Roscoe Jones (Jeanne)

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (George)

Family Pictures by Jane Green (Dawn)

Finding Camlann by Sean Pigeon (Joel)

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (Chris)

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (George)

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Brenda)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Pam)

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Pam)

Longbourn by Jo Baker (Brenda)

Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Chris)

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes (Pam)

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Brenda)

Night Film by Marisha Pessl (Joel)

Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier (Joel)

Nothing Gold Can Stay  by Ron Rash (Joel)

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson (Joel)

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt (Jeanne)

Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman (Jeanne)

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Jeanne)

Still Life by Louise Penny (Pam)

Sweet Thunder by Ivan Doig (Pam)

Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders (Chris)

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Pam)

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chris)

Wool by Hugh Howey (Joel)

 

Non-Fiction: 

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (George)

Command and Control by Eric Schlosser (Joel)

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell (Chris)

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink (George)

Foundation by Peter Ackroyd (Joel)

Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff (George)

Into the Abyss: An Extraordinary True Story (George)

Londoners by Craig Taylor (Joel)

The Lost Whale: the True Story of an Orca Named Luna by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm (Beth)

The Longest Road by Philip Caputo (Brenda)

Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World by Simon Garfield (Jeanne)

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (Jeanne)

The Nutshell Sties of Unexplained Death by Corinne May Botz (Jeanne)

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson (Brenda)

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Beth)

Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman (Jeanne)

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Dawn)

Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age by Mathew Klickstein (Denise)

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman (Brenda)

Through the Eye of a Needle by Peter Brown (Joel)

To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild (Joel)

Vanished by Wil Hylton (George)

The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanargarne (Dawn)

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus by Reza Aslan (Joel)

 

Graphic Novels:

Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon by Matt Fraction (Denise)

Hawkeye: Little Hits by Matt Fraction (Denise)

The Property by Rutu Modan (Dawn)

 

Young Adult and Children’s Fiction:

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (Brenda)

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech (Jeanne)

 

 Brenda 

 

 

 

 


Discussible Books

Most of the books on this list are favorites from discussions held at the library between 2007 and 2013. A few of the titles are books we haven’t discussed yet, but will soon and are potential favorites. Not every title will appeal to all readers, but all will promote lively discussions.  Brenda

Fiction

Chevalier, Tracy. The Last Runaway

Coomer, Joe. Pocketful of Names

deWitt, Patrick. The Sisters Brothers

Doig, Ivan. The Whistling Season

Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light

Dunant, Sarah. Sacred Hearts

Erdrich, Louise. The Round House

Follett, Ken. Pillars of the Earth

Ford, Jamie. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Gloss, Molly. The Hearts of Horses

Hill, Lawrence. Someone Knows My Name

James, P.D. Death Comes to Pemberley

Joyce, Rachel. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

King, Laurie. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Kingsolver, Barbara. Prodigal Summer

Larsson, Stieg. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

McLain, Paula. The Paris Wife

Moon, Elizabeth. The Speed of Dark

O’Nan, Stewart. Last Night at the Lobster

Parkin, Gaile. Baking Cakes in Kigali

See, Lisa. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Shaffer, Mary Ann and Annie Barrows. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Simonson, Helen. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Stockett, Kathryn. The Help

Trigiani, Adriana. The Shoemaker’s Wife

Vreeland, Susan. Clara and Mr. Tiffany; Luncheon of the Boating Party

Walls, Jeannette. Half Broke Horses

 

Non-Fiction

 Algeo, Matthew. Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure

Beavan, Colin. No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process

Caputo, Philip. The Longest Road: Overland in Search of America from Key West to the Arctic Ocean

Child, Julia. My Life in France

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun

Goodman, Matthew. Eighty days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World

Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Krist, Gary. City of Scoundrels: The Twelve Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago

Kurson, Robert. Shadow Divers : The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

Millard, Candice. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President

Peacock, Nancy. A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning, and Life

Salisbury, Laney & Aly Sujo. Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art


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