Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Books 2009

After blogging about my Christmas wish list for books, I thought I might let you know what I actually received. I'm very excited about them all! Here they are in no particular order:
  • Eli the Good by Silas House: I heard House read from his latest novel back in October at the Southern Festival of Books. I was very upset at the time that the Festival had sold out of the book before I reached the purchasing tent. Now I can finally read what I'm sure will be a masterpiece to add to his already-impressive list. It is the story of a young boy who comes of age during the country's bicentennial in 1976, and it marks the first novel in which House has ventured into new territory and away from the Kentucky clan around which all his other novels are centered. Although marketed as a young adult novel, House stated at the Southern Festival of Books that he never intended it as such and that he feels it is a novel for all ages.
  • The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten: I can't wait to try the recipes in this, the first of Ina Garten's cookbooks. Based primarily on recipes available at her Barefoot Contessa gourmet market in the Hamptons, the recipes included have also been featured on her Food Network cooking show of the same name.
  • Bookmarks Magazine: This is an old favorite of mine, which for some reason I from time to time decide is unnecessary. I always miss it in the years I don't renew (or ask for a renewal as a gift). Internet reading is wonderful, but there is something to be said for sitting down to browse a magazine devoted entirely to books and reading. I always walk away from a session with the magazine with a long list of books to read, books to buy, and movies to watch based on books.
  • Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani: To be honest, I haven't read an in-depth synopsis or review of this novel. I've read all Trigiani's books, and I have no doubt that I will love this one as much as all the rest. This truly is a young adult novel, but one that I feel will work for me as an adult, also. So far I've read 55 pages in, and Brooklyn-raised Viola is miserable but trying in her new Indiana boarding school.
  • Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life (with Recipes) by Julia Reed: I'm already more than halfway finished with this book which I received just a couple of days ago. However, it is primarily recipes with scattered bits of introductory stories leading into them (so I haven't read THAT much in the past day or two). Reed is hilarious and knows her (southern) food. I can't wait to try her recipes, either, especially since they are a bit less sophisticated than Garten's, and include large quantities of items such as homemade mayonnaise and Ritz crackers.
  • A Dibrell Cookbook: This is probably the best cookbook item I received, because it is one of those homemade conglomerations in which ladies of the community donate copies of their very best dishes to be included in the book. Bound in plastic rings, it boasts dozens of recipes which I'm sure will become go-to items for weeknight dinners, potlucks, and desserts. This goes along with a surprising number of similar cookbooks from everywhere from St. Louis, Missouri to Clarksville, Tennessee (and many from my hometown of McMinnville).

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