Summer Reading

Since I just finished a book I thought it time to share my summer reading list with you.  Please be warned that a majority of the stack are food related.  Whether an actual cookbook or not, most do contain recipes.  Food and words, now we're jamming with my love language.  So here we go with a list of what I've read or am reading as of late:
1."Delicious" by Ruth Reichl
I have only recently discovered the genius of Ms. Reichl but she definitely had me at hello, or "Delicious" in this cases.  Simply remarkable food descriptions.  I could taste and smell and see in intricate detail each and every spice and flavor in this novel.  And with ten years experience at Gourmet magazine it's no wonder.  She tells a story intertwined with food and history and love and love of food.
2. "Delancey" by Molly Wizenberg
Stumbling upon her blog, Orangette, I was immediately enchanted.  Not only with her style of writing but her recipes and passion for food and sharing that food with her people.  "Delancey" is a memoir of the journey the author and her husband took in opening their Seattle based pizza restaurant, Delancey, named after the subway station in New York.  I laughed, I had my sanity questioned, because even after reading this tale I still secretly want to open my own restaurant.  Don't tell.
3. "Notes From a Blue Bike" by Tsh Oxenreider
This might be my least favorite read in the stack.  Oxenreider is the creator of a site that speaks to living life more simply and practical ways in which to do so.  The book is a collection of stories and lessons learned while living abroad with her family.  While I can appreciate the author's experiences and the desire to live simply  and most certainly the living in Turkey it may have just been her writing style that didn't sit well with me.  We read this book for our book club selection and I must say that certain chapters sparked some great conversations.  I do think it was lacking in continuity for me.  All that to say, not every book we choose will be our favorite.
4. "The Extravagant Fool" by Kevin Adams
Disclaimer here, Kevin and his family are personal friends of ours so what you read below may sound biased, it's not, or maybe it is, either way I say BUY this book.  And not just one copy, but two, one for yourself and one to give to someone you love.  This story challenges one to redefine faith. Through personal struggles and God sized miracles Kevin shares his heart for Jesus.  Passages such as this are underlined in my copy and highlighted and re-read often; "Faith isn't about living each day as my last, but about living as if each day belongs to God, and remembering that not one person ever walked away from Jesus, unloved.  Welcome to post-salvation life."  Kevin even provides what he calls, "back-pocket proverbs" for his son, Tyler.  I won't share the story, Kevin tells it so much better.  What I will give you is an invitation to "hear the living, breathing testimony offered by the extravagant fool, a man who staked his welfare-and future-entirely on the goodness of God."

5. "Love Does" by Bob Goff
Husband Jared and I had the privilege of hearing Bob speak at the Storyline Conference we attended back in February and let me just say this man is the real deal.  A genuine soul with more than hugs to share.  He actually printed his personal phone number in the back of the book.  Better yet, he answers the phone anytime it rings, even when he's on stage!  We received a copy of his book at the conference and had already purchased one prior to attending.  I had read portions of it and when we returned home we began reading it as a family.  In short, this book is about loving God and others.  I'm sure you're familiar with the old adage, actions speak louder than words, well in this case love does.  Bob shares stories from his life and how his former way of thinking has been recalibrated. 

6. "Tender at the Bone" by Ruth Reichl
I read this memoir of Ruth's after reading "Delicious" and I was craving more of her story telling.  This is described as her memoir and the story is fascinating.  Weaving recipes into memories and people into specific places and meals.  I was left wanting to know more.  More about her, more about the food she makes.  Just more. 

7. "Moment Maker" by Carlos Whittaker
On the wave of storytelling and living life and loving people this book caught my attention with it's title.  Husband Jared and I quite often remind the Things that it's about making memories.  In that same spirit we are responsible to some degree for the moments we do create, both for ourselves and others.  And that is what Carlos shares in his book.  How to live intentionally while paying attention. What stood out the most to me though was the manner in which he speaks of  his wife.  So tender and real. 

8. "Dinner a Love Story" by Jenny Rosenstrach
I can't do this book justice by simply calling it a cookbook, which is what I originally thought it was.  It is so much more.  Jenny gives such insight into a home kitchen's potential.  For nine years she kept a meal journal.  Documenting every meal she ate, prepared, each and every dinner party she hosted.  Down to the finest detail.  Even the amount and type of wine, liquor, beer, etc.  Oh and the result, such as what dish was liked, what worked, where said items were purchased.  You get the picture.  At first I thought this a bit over the top, and then as I read more and understood the impact of this practice I loved the book that much more.  The recipes speak to me and the photographs of her children in the kitchen with her cause me to become nostalgic and remember when the Things would be sitting on the counters helping me mix or chop.  Oh and I already have a few recipes dog eared, ready to put on the menu rotation in this house.

9. "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown
I have only just begun this book but to say that I am devouring the words of Brene Brown would be an understatement.  So much truth and conviction in every paragraph.  As of page forty five this has been hitting me hard, consistently, "Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity.  It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity.  If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path".  Yes and yes.  If you're up for some soul searching and challenging reading I'd say this is right up your alley. 

Alright peeps, that's all for  now.  As you can tell my selections are all over the map.  And just to keep it real, I usually have at least two or three books I'm reading at the same time.  Not to mention the magazines and online reading I do.  Everything from serious, to satirical, newsworthy, mommy blogs, lifestyle, etc.  You name it, I want to read it.  Well usually.  Trying to include some poetry in the mix, any suggestions?  Pass them along.  Up next on the docket some Victor Frankl and Rachel Held Evans.  Husband Jared and I are hoping to read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand as well this summer.  What's on your list?  Or on your nightstand? Maybe your coffee table or kitchen counter?  Tell me, please. 

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