Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good reads

This afternoon, a change of pace: a few of our recommended reads this Summer.

Tolly: In Defense of Food! I was inspired to read it after seeing "Food, Inc.," which released a few weeks ago. Michael Pollan does such a great job of restoring the relationship between food and people: I can't stop thinking about this one line where he's talking about a berry ("so this berry walks into a bar"....heh), saying it tells us when it wants us to eat it. When it gets a bright, deep hue, it's saying: "I'm ready for you to spread my genes now." I love that. I love it when berries talk to me. I'm still not an angel when it comes to food, but I'm 50x more conscious about what I buy, and am determined to plant a garden when Texas returns to sub-surface-of-the-sun temperatures. Thanks Michael.

Reminisces of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre, originally published in 1923. I like it because it's more about the market's mentality than gimmicks, stock picks or trends (which are often outdated or played out before the book is published). It's timeless for that reason and most brokers will tell you it's still their favorite book on investing.

Merritt: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenberger. I am both fascinated and dumbfounded by the concept of time travel, but Clare and Henry's love story is intoxicating (I might have a literary crush on Henry DeTamble). Next up, The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich. I am excited to get the full scoop on the founding of Facebook. Why it is a good summer read? The front cover has a picture of a red bra and a lipstick-stained martini glass. Enough said.

My bookshelf skews toward stories that are introspective and ones that take me to another place, hence my obession with travel memoirs, foodie books, and other firsthand accounts that show us the limitlessness of possibility. My latest read happens to also be a shameless plug for a book we're working on, Halfway to Each Other by Susan Pohlman. Unfortunately, the masses won't find it in stores until September, but pre-order on Amazon now. The book is the true story of how Susan and her husband rescusitated their marriage by moving the whole family to Italy for a year. Cozy up with some vino as you are whisked to the dolce vita and soon you'll be unplugging your TV, putting down your iPhone and booking the next flight to the Italian Riviera.

Kelly: The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer. It's the fictional story of a family that's torn apart when the father is accused of being a spy during the Iranian Revolution. The story is told from each family member's perspective: the father, the mother, the daughter and the son in America. The book is loosely based on the author's own life- she fled Iran when she was ten. In the biography section of the book, she talks about what it was like as a little girl to leave her house. For the longest time she wondered if anyone moved the toys in her room. When writing this story, Sofer paid the same amount of attention to details. It's beautifully written. Also Patrick Rosal's My American Kundiman. He's a former bboy turned poet who understands sounds so well that his poetry flows off the page like a hip-hop track. Seriously. Poems range in this book from subdued and wistful to in-your-face-confident.

Now go read a book.

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