What I’m Reading December 2016

Hello from Alaska, where the cold never stops and I can’t feel my toes.

Since hibernation is in full swing, I’ve been catching up on my reading. In the summer, I am a wanderer, constantly outside or running around a park somewhere to soak up as much sun as possible. I normally can’t force myself to sit still long enough to get through even a few pages of a book.

The winter, however, is different. Since I have to go the gym to run, I bring my Amazon Fire e-reader with me. At night, instead of gardening or crafting before bed, I usually lie down and read a bit. And on the weekends, if I have a few moments, I will crack open a book and read. In a typical summer month, I can read half a book. In a typical winter month, I can read four or five books.

Since I’ve been reading so much lately, and since a lot of it has had to do with food, I figured you guys would like to hear my recommendations. Hopefully we will all have more time to read after the holidays are over. I know that all it takes is a good description of food in a story to get me ready to cook, and these books all have several moments that made me want to run for the kitchen.

1. Anthony Bourdain “Medium Raw” 

I have been a fan of Bourdain for a long time, as his show “No Reservations” was the one that inspired me to travel to Europe back in 2014. However, I had never read any of his books until this one (a sin, I know). The writing style is, as the title suggests, raw and unfiltered. I love the way that his descriptions of food flow into pages-long details, each one then permeated by an astute and sometimes childishly funny judgment of another chef or writer. It feels authentic and fun, like your friend is telling you the tale of their wild weekend in Cabo.

You can get the book here.

2. Andie Mitchell “It Was Me All Along” 

This book is interesting because it uses food as a lens to look at weight loss and self-love. Andie details the food that brings her comfort as a child, the food that caused her to become 268 pounds by her early twenties. After making the choice to lose the weight, Andie begins to find a lifestyle that cuts these things down, but finds herself becoming obsessed.

While most weight loss stories become very anti-food and anti-treat, Andie finds a wonderful balance where good food remains in her life and continues to bring her joy, but in a new and healthy way. I loved that her style was casual but always had a poetic hint to it, so that it felt like it stepped above the other weight loss memoirs (often vapid and unreflective) that flood the market.

You can buy her book here.

3. Julia Child “My Life In France” 

I know, I know. I’m a food writer and a traveller who hasn’t read this book until now. I’m as shocked as you are. I have no excuse as to why it took me this long, but I’m glad that I saved it. I have been lacking some inspiration lately, and this book has brought me so much of the enthusiasm that I had lost to the semester. It inspired me to try and try again, and to have that relentless positivity that I carried with me over the summer break.

Her descriptions of France and the food that made her want to become a professional chef will make your heart long to get on a plane, or a time machine, or to simply book a reservation at your local French restaurant. Either way, it will move you to do something.

You can find it here.

If you have a book that is somehow food-related that you adore, leave the title of it in the comments below along with a link to your blog. I’m curious to see what my fellow cooks are reading.

Until next time, keep hibernating.

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