Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bookshelf Check

Good morning!

I've been reorganizing my desk at work, and thought I would mention some of the books that are going to get me through the end of these summer doldrums. Let's take a look! What should I read first?

1) Pop Culture:

  • I Wear the Black Hat by Chuck Klosterman-- It's funny with Klosterman's books, I read the essays, I enjoy the essays, I immediately forget the essays. Whether in book form or in one of his magazine publications, I can only seem to concretely remember a recent excerpt of this book on what he used to hate that he no longer hates (the Eagles, post-DLR Van Halen, etc, etc), which nudged me into ordering this book. Is this bad? I guess that would make going back and reading some of his earlier releases. With titles like Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and Killing Yourself to Live, I am more apt to remember what the book is called than what is in it. 
  • My Lunches with Orson edited by Henry Jaglom-- I read about this one on Dangerous Minds and cracked up on Orson Welles's catty commentary on Hollywood celebrities. Katharine Hepburn on set boasting about sleeping with Howard Hughes? Check. The statement "I never could stand looking at Bette Davis"? Check. OW is taking no prisoners and taking you with him in these transcribed tapes from lunch conversations with director Henry Jaglom. Cannot WAIT to read this book.
  • Rita Moreno: A Memoir-- I heard an interview with Moreno on NPR a few months ago and have just now worked my way up through the holds list to have it checked out. Moreno was cute as button in her Sunday Morning interview, and I hope that spark and verve comes through as clearly in her memoir as it did in her radio spot. Update: Just read the chapter about her love affair with Brando and her suicide attempt in his apartment. I don't know where the rest of this books is going, but WOW, WOW.
  • Kicking and Dreaming by Ann and Nancy Wilson-- One of my very favorite records to put on, just sitting around the house, is the A-side of Dreamboat Annie, the scorching 1976 debut album of sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson in the band Heart. Do I ever get tired of hearing "Magic Man" and "Crazy on You" on repeat? I do not. I remember a lot of sturm and drang from their episode of Behind the Music (Ann's weight gain, post-fame, caused considerable waves in that "ethereal, thin, rock goddess" period of 70's music), so I'm interested in a backstage pass.

2) Cookbooks:

  • Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero and Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson--I ordered these two books on the heels of the super disappointing The Everything Vegetarian Slow Cooker. While a couple of the recipes were ok, everything seemed bland, bland, bland! I'm intrigued by the idea of coming home to an already cooked hot meal, but not if it took six hours to cook something that tastes like it came out of a can. So phooey on y'all, Everything Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I'm hoping Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker and Vegan Eats World sufficiently spice up our dinner menus (or "denus", as I just attempted to type)!
  • Taste of the Caribbean by Jenni Fleetwood and Marisa Filpelli and A Taste of Cuba by Linette Green-- I am completely obsessed with Calypso Cafe after having dropped in to the East Nashville location on the way to work (which, is housed in a former Payless Shoes across from the middle school I attended... I just derive endless joy from how much the neighborhood has changed and in what ways) on Sunday and getting a black bean plate with three sides (corn and bean salad, sweet potatoes, and calalloo....YES, FOREVER, LET ME EAT THIS UNTIL THE END OF TIME) for $6.29. The only way I could do this more cheaply would be to make these items ahead at home, and while they might not turn out EXACTLY as flawless as Calypso's presentation, I thought it might be fun to try.

3) Various

  • Stylepedia by Steven Heller and Louise Fili-- This book came through for another patron to place on hold about two months ago, and I placed a hold on it out of curiosity. LOTS of gorgeous "style-spiration" from the pages within, I just need to settle down and really get a good look at it.
  • Lords of Salem by Rob Zombie-- I'm already halfway through this, and while it's written on a YA or so level (with R rated horror, of course), it's still pretty enjoyable. I'm not into Rob Zombie's music, but I'll have to do a post sometime about how I LO-O-OVE his movies. So much so, that I couldn't wait for Lords of Salem to come out on dvd after I foolishly missed it in the theaters, and am plowing through this not-quite-novelization.
  • Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli and Me by Patricia Volk Eartha Kitsch told me about this book, and I'm glad she did! It looks great-- the author's mother was the chic hostess at her family's even more chic restaurant in New York in the forties' and fifties', and from what I can tell, this is a kind of dual biography of the mother and one of my favorite fashion designers of all time, Elsa Schiaparelli (see previous blog post on the woman here). Can't wait!
So! That's the shelf, in all its glory. What are you guys reading or looking forward to reading this summer? Are you using your public library to the best of your abilities? You should! I got every single one of these books at our fair Nashville Public Library, which has recently raised the physical checkout limit to 100 items. ONE HUNDRED ITEMS. I could have another 89 books on that shelf! Which of these would you put on the top of your to-read list? Let's talk!!

That's all for today, but I'll see you back here tomorrow. Have a great Thursday, and I'll see you tomorrow for Photo Friday!


  1. I plan to re-read The Great Gatsby. I didn't like it in high school when it was assigned reading, and I feel like I owe it another go. I just finished Hollywood Babylon, a guilty pleasure for sure.

    1. I plan to do this as well. As a teen I remember thinking it was depressing and I was so not about that back then. Right now I've just started reading John Dies at the End.

    2. Tender is the Night is still my favorite Fitzgerald, but Gatsby's terrific, obviously...and might feel different being non-compulsory. HOLLYWOOD BABYLON IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. I have both volumes on my nightside table, no joke!

  2. I got a discard "Best New Yorker Short Stories, 1950-1960" for a dollar at our library. In it I found a fantastic essay by Alice Templeton called "Elegant Economy." I liked her writing so much that I scanned Amazon and found "Cupid's Dart. I also have been into Mary McCarthy (Memoirs of a Catholic Girlhood) and Edith Wharton. This may sound pretentious, but Tacitus' Histories are awfully interesting, too. Those crazy Roman emperors and their mothers!! He's like some gossipy old biddy dishing over the neighbors..sigh. I love to read!

    1. I love finding authors in anthologies that you might never have heard of before. Do you know about the New Yorker Fiction podcast? Each month a different author published in New Yorker choses ANOTHER author published in New Yorker... it's so interesting to hear what people-who-write read or admire. I'll have to check out the Tacitus book, it sounds like a hoot! Ancient Roman gossip...sign me up!

  3. you should get the appetite for reduction book! its vegan of course and every single thing ive made from it has been GREAT. it has a better track record than any other recipe book i've ever had!
    i'm still slogging through the game of thrones books. i'm 1800 pages in now. i like it, but seeing the page count on my nook (it goes up to 3600!) makes me feel like i'll never finish!

    1. I bought Appetite for Reduction, but haven't made much out of it yet (shame on me)! Your rec motivates me to do so. Matthew just started the Game of Thrones books! We have finally outed ourselves as Throne-aholics. I bet when you get to the end, it'll seem like "wait, what? What do I do now? I'm so invested in this!" just like on the show.

  4. I LOVE my library! Right now I have about 8 books checked out-just finished Ann Hood's The Obituary Writer, which was very good. I think our library has a 50 item limit, which I thought was generous! I think the most books I ever had out at one time was 25, when a bunch of my holds all came in at once.

    1. I'm glad you're a fellow library enthusiast! I can't even imagine checking out 100 items...I mean, I can imagine seeing that many that interest me, but that's a lot to keep up with!!



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