Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Books 2009

So, without a church to pastor, I've read a few books over the past 28 days. All trash. Some fun, all pointless. "The Best Of Everything" sounds and looks great: a black pastor's daughter marries the co-pastor but can't curb her love of all things shopping. Loved the descriptions in the first few pages, but it got tedious quick, with no real resolution, character change or moment of redemption.

"Hungry Woman in Paris" has a bit of it: a Hispanic journalist cancels her wedding, flees to Paris and goes to chef school. Lots of possibilities, lots of cooking and sex and the idea that the main character, Canela, is always hungry for something because she is so empty inside. It deals with issues of family, love, suicide, being of two worlds (American and Mexican) and food food food.
The ending though is odd and off base and doesn't seem to totally connect with all that comes before.

Best parts: page 72, when the French chef tells the students "Cuisine is sensual. You must always be touching and tasting and smelling and having all your senses completely open. You can always follow a recipe, yes, but you must also feel your way through it...To truly be a great chef you must love to give pleasure to people."

Then on page 125 Canela (which is Spanish for Cinnamon) take a class on wine. Hear what the instructor says "...wine is a gastronomic Kodak of a day in the life of the earth, the land. With one taste we experience la terre; wine is the blood of the earth. At the other end, at its simplest, wine is just fermented grape juice. For me wine is science and poetry coming together and exploding in my mouth."

And "Hollywood Car Wash" is about a Michigan girl named Amy who is suddenly cast for a part in a major TV show, and how the Hollywood system goes about changing her: losing weight, veneers, hair color, drugs to lose weight, pills to sleep etc. I read it with great enjoyment, but eventually got to the point of "OK OK, when is she going to stand up and say "no- this is me and I won't change!" Of course, it happens, but a little too late, quick and neatly wrapped up. But if this book truly portrays what young Hollywood folk go through, I feel sorry for them and may be less quick to judge and wonder why someone like Britney can do what she did, bald head and car bashing ans all.