Monday, September 28, 2009

Catching Up, Again

Last week I flew through three books:

I first came across Kathleen DeMarco's work in a collection of essays by New Jersey writers. The main reason I picked up her novel Cranberry Queen was because it's set in an unnamed town somewhere in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. A good, but not great, book, it mostly put me in the mood to go back to the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival. I haven't gone in a really long time, but always loved it when I was younger. Cranberry bogs, cranberry ice cream, and the Jersey Devil all in one fun.

Then I went for some fluffy chick lit with Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella. Sometimes I read these kinds of books as a guilty pleasure, all the while fully aware of how bad they are, but I truly enjoyed this one. It's so funny and so fun. I won't even attempt to summarize the plot because it will only sound ridiculous, but I will say that I laughed out loud on many occasions. For some reason, the zany, goofy humor of this book just didn't get old for me.

And finally, for something with a bit more serious literary merit, I picked up Gourmet Rhapsody, the companion book to The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which I loved. Really more of a novella (I read it in about two hours), Muriel Barbery here picks up and follows the story of one of the food critic who is one of the minor characters from Hedgehog. Not quite as charming as that book, but still a pleasant read. The lavish culinary descriptions that make up the bulk of the book put Julia Child's My Life in France to shame.

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