When I was younger, I was constantly reading. I loved the idea that there was the potential for so much knowledge to be learned, just by immersing yourself in the pages of a book. Medical school has meant a lot of time spent reading textbooks and class notes, though, and not a lot of time reading for pleasure. I hope to change this, however! Here is my top ten books I’m working on reading in the next year!
1. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child
I know, a classic, right? It’s ridiculous and embarrassing that I have not yet made it through this legendary book, but medical school had me a little bit busy. While I have read through small portions of the book in the past, I have finally started reading through from page one. And let me tell you, I’m learning so many things! This is number one on my “books to finish” this year list because there is such a wealth of practical knowledge to be found in this revolutionary book. For example, did you know that heavy cream with a bit of buttermilk can make crème fraîche when you can’t find crème fraîche at your local grocery store? Now you know.
2. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service, Theodore Kinni
So for those who don’t know yet, I love Disney. Like, L-O-V-E Disney. (In fact, as you read this post we are on our way back to Disney World today!) I saw this book in one of the shops during our last trip and was fascinated. After all, even those who don’t enjoy Disney World will admit that Disney is still the best at what they do. Much of this can be attributed to their incredible customer service. I would love to read more about how they function in terms of “the art” of customer service, and am looking forward to clicking the “Buy It Now” button on this one!
3. Notes from the Larder, Nigel Slater
I spotted this book while wandering through the Williams Sonoma store, one of my favorite things to do at the mall when I have the extra time. Do I buy anything? Almost never. 🙂 But it’s lovely to dream about all of the amazing things we might have in our kitchen (when we have more room, and more income!) and all the amazing dishes we could make with those toys one day! This book caught my eye last time, and I found myself browsing through it for a few minutes. Nigel Slater seems to have captured the essence of casual cooking with love, and I can’t wait to test out some of her recipes!
4. Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home, Emily Schuman
For our engagement party, one of our guests bought this Cupcakes and Cashmere book for us, by Emily Schuman (thank you Rona and Gary!). Emily runs the Cupcakes and Cashmere website, a lifestyle blog full of advice on fashion, food, home decor and more. I am super excited about this book, and cannot wait to dig into it! In the book, Emily is more focused on home decor and interior design, giving her advice for how to make a house a home. What I find really intriguing is that in terms of her decorating advice, she has it both for those who rent, and also for those who own their own home. This is a genius idea: wherever and whenever you are in your life, you can benefit from her advice, regardless of whether you are renting or owning! Perfect!
5. Provence, 1970, Luke Barr
Just purchased this, and I’m so excited about it! Provence, 1970 is a book about one winter. In 1970, Julia Child, James Beard, and M.F.K. Fisher, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones were all together in Provence, France. During this time period, their conversations and ideas were basically what ended up shaping the culinary world for decades to come. It is so intriguing to me to read about historical moments like this, and I can’t wait to dive into this story! This book will also work as the perfect companion piece to #1 above, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. 🙂
6. Fall in Love with Life: Inspiration from a 73-Year Marriage, Barbara Cooper
In June of 2016, I will officially be joining the “married” club! I know I’m not perfect, so I appreciate every opportunity I have to better myself for our marriage. This book covers the 73 years of marriage of Barbara Cooper and her husband, Harry Cooper. Throughout the book she provides advice on every aspect of marriage, and I am eager to take her word for it because after 73 years she has definitely been through it all! Hopefully I’ll be able to convince my fiancé to take a look at this one too!
7. Titanic: First Accounts, Tim Maltin
I have always been fascinated by the Titanic, it’s people, it’s voyage, it’s fate. I have a plethora of Titanic-related books on my Amazon Wishlist, but this one I’m really looking forward to taking a look at. This book contains first hand accounts and letters from those who survived the sinking.
8. Vintage Cocktails, Laziz Hamani
If there is one thing I love, it’s a well-made cocktail. This book is filled with all of the classic, vintage recipes and beautiful photography, from the looks of it. I enjoy making new, innovative craft cocktails, but it’s always nice to go back to a classic french 75 or a gimlet. And think of what a lovely coffee table book this would make! (My fiancé will be cringing when he reads this… “oh no, not another coffee table book!”).
9. The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling
I know, it’s sad. Even being the huge Harry Potter fan that I am, I haven’t yet had the chance to sit down and read J.K. Rowling’s newer book, The Casual Vacancy. I even own it already! But like I mentioned earlier, medical school kind of took over my life for the last four years. I’m really hoping to crack this one open soon! And speaking of J.K. Rowling, check out the work she is doing with her new charity, Lumos, aimed at helping children in orphanages.
10. Plate to Pixels, Helene Dujardin
I have been taking photographs of food and recipes for much longer than I have had this food blog. I have always loved the cooking not only for its smells and tastes, but also for its visual aspect. My friends and family have always chuckled when I try to plate my dishes “so they look pretty”, but I think the way you see your food is sometimes just as important as the taste and smell. I am eager to learn new tips and tricks and ideas for photographing my food, and I can’t wait to check out Helene’s book!
Now it’s your turn: which of these books have you read, and what did you think? And what is your next reading for pleasure choice, and why? Let me know in the comments below, I’m always looking to add awesome books to my “To Read” list!