April Showers Bring Spring Reads

NYC has been blanketed with April showers recently  — which I’m hoping will bring the May flowers. To keep busy on my days until school starts, I’ve made it a habit of reading at least 3 books at one time. Keep in mind that my choice of reads are rarely in line with current publications.

I’ve posted about my love of non-fiction before (especially travel writing), so my current selection should come as no surprise:

A Year in Provence by Pete Mayle – Peter Mayle takes his reader on a year long journey of his life in the south of France. Each chapter is divided month by month, so I tend to read a chapter at a time. It’s an interesting and easy read for when you’ve got a few books going at once. His descriptions of the French, daily life and the local food culture are entertaining and sincere. They also remind me of one of my all time favorite books – I’ll Never Be French by Mark Greenside.

Four Fish by Paul Greenburg – This is a highly informative book based around the four most consumed fish of the world; salmon, bass, cod and tuna. In fact, the book contains only four chapters named after the four fish listed above, respectively. I’m half way though now and feel much more knowledgeable about how fish are caught, how its life is lived and how our basic ecosystem is effected by the current ‘man/fish war’. Anyone who eats (in general) should be aware of where their food comes from — and this book informs you through well-written narratives, facts, and statistics.

The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson – The first line in this book made me laugh, as Bryson usually does. A more personal story to Bryson, The Lost Continent takes us through America by car, beginning with his home state of Iowa.

Living the Good Life by Helen and Scott Nearing – This book is fantastic and (although decades old) very appropriate for our current economy. It is written by a couple who decided to leave the city for Vermont and pursue the simple life. They take you through their journey of finding and buying land, bartering for food and goods – including a truck. They describe every piece of their journey and make it seem possible for anyone to try their methods.

Books that are on the back-burner, but ready for firing as soon as I finish one of the above –

At Home by Bill Bryson – I haven’t started this one quite yet but it looked very intriguing. It is a study of a life through an old home. Each room represents ones daily life and events that have occurred there, all told through Bryson’s humorous voice.

Paris in the Fifties by Stanley Karnow – I have a mild, but healthy obsession with France and it’s past. My mother lent this one to me and I’m staring at it on a daily basis – contemplating whether I should bring a 5th book into my current reading selection.

Aphrodite by Isabel Allende  – A combination of food writing and recipes mixed with a big nod to sensuality. I think this will be the perfect book to coincide with my culinary studies.

*Sad side note, our local Borders on Broadway has closed. It was such a great, quick source for magazines and new reads. Before it closed, I stocked up on some of my favorites (and some new oddities).

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