Category Archives: Reading Lists

Reading List (17/10)

“When you are in the water you can think differently, because you feel the whole of the world in a way that you don’t when you’re outside. We’re held differently by the world and therefore we think differently.” I loved everything about this article.

Pestle and mortars.

Academic guilt.

I loved this portrait of Philip Pullman, about his upcoming Book of Dust.

This week I devoured Heartburn, by Nora Ephron. I really loved it because it is clearly the source of one of my favourite quotes (which I heard first in Julie and Julia). “What I love about cooking is that after a hard day, there is something comforting about the fact that if you melt butter and add flour and then hot stock, it will get thick! It’s a sure thing! It’s sure thing in a world where nothing is sure; it has a mathematical certainty in a world where those of us who long for some kind of certainty are forced to settle for crossword puzzles.” In Julie and Julia, she talks about whisking egg yolks into chocolate, and sugar and milk, while making pie, but really it amounts to the same thing. It is all about the comfort of routine in cooking.

I listened to I found my tribe. I urge you to read this book (or listen to it, as I did. It is read by the author). It tells the story of Ruth, who has a tribe of 5 children and a husband with Motor Neurone Disease. Her story of coping with her husband’s illness while raising her children is captivating, heartbreaking, and arresting. There is some wild sea swimming in cold Irish water for good measure too. This book will make you grateful for what you have.

For most of Sunday I listened to The Girls. I have been drawn into this novel, wanting to know how things will end (although you have a good idea from the beginning as it is based on the Manson murders ). But it is the dynamics between the girls, the way teenaged is represented, that is so fascinating.

I’m not even sure we should really know how to make this ourselves but oh well: how to make your own cookie butter.

Food critics at London’s newspapers.

I love the look of this cocktail, especially for Halloween.

That is all for this week! Have a good one y’ll. x

 

 

Reading List (10/10)

It’s October people! Whaaatttt?! Yup. We are on that downward slope to the end of the year, short days, dark days, and colder weather. If you missed this list last week (and the one before), I’m sorry! I’ve been on book deadline and have also started traveling again for work so I have not had a moment to read anything unessential. But I am glad to be back here again. The book has gone in (cue dancing girls and twirling fireworks) so now I’m waiting for editorial feedback. Also, it is A-‘s birthday today! I spent the weekend making salted caramel for cake, and preparing gifts.

Chefs helping out in Puerto Rico.

Fish have a dawn chorus too! This is just wonderful.

The disconnect between our real lives and our online lives, as illustrated by a fake food festival.

I read my first Agatha Christie last week! I know crazy right? I chose Murder on the Orient Express. I found it superbly comforting (which is weird because it is a detective story) but in the same manner as Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (which we have been watching with delight), the stories are reassuring rather than scary. Everything always works out in the end. And I love the time period of the novels – the clothes, the formality of dinner – it makes train travel sound delightful. I’m going to borrow some more from the library now, to read while I’m traveling. And if you need a reason to read or reread Murder on the Orient Express, the movie is coming out next month and looks epic.

On academic engagement with the public.

This cartoon .

Books challenged in 2016 for being various stages of ‘inappropriate’.

I read this post on a gloomy Saturday morning and was transported to the wild forests of Sweden. The images alone are magical but the prose takes you into a forest-foodie heaven.

I subscribe to a lot of newsletters. It helps with finding things to read for these posts but also connects me into communities of thought that I might otherwise miss. This last week my inbox has been full of bloggers and writers celebrating the arrival of autumn. I love getting these kinds of posts. They are simple reminders of the importance of gratitude and the wonder of everyday life. Some of my favourites are here, here, here, and here.

I very much want to make this pasta with chickpeas for dinner soon. And I love the sound of this pistachio frosting. I do love all things pistachio.

A list of podcasts you could listen to. I randomly, and totally by accident, listened to an episode of Stuff You Should Know this week. It was great. Entertaining, funny, full of random facts (I do so love a random fact) and peppered with superbly interesting people.  Other podcasts I’ve made my way through recently: The Guilty Feminist (the last two episodes were totally brilliant and make me laugh out loud while walking in the street); Eating Alone – new from BBC Radio 4 Food Programme, and Violet Sessions, dealing with grief.

On weeds. On farming.

Sculpture making with wine corks.

Recognising that we cannot live in a ‘constant state of agitation’ is hugely important. Recently I have become increasingly interested in the connections between learning through the body and learning through the mind. I have a paper idea in my head so I guess it is at the back of my own mind, these embodied connections. I read this with fascination – all about the connections between our bodies and our minds.

OMG. Pasta grannies teaching you to make pasta via videos on YouTube. This is BRILLIANT. (Found via SK list).

I also finished Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey. I was expecting a book on the wilds of the islands, the natural world that exists within them, and a personal journey of discovery. This book is that but it is also a commentary on making a nation, the politics of islands, and the intricate histories that the Hebrides have. A truly great read.

Interesting ideas on creativity and minimalism.

A very elegant and interesting piece about knitting for organisations who then donate some money from sales of their products to charity.

Reading List (19/9)

Hello again! I am back from my holiday in Spain, all rested and prepped for the coming academic year.

Chiclana sunset

Julia Child always reminded people to never apologise for the food you are serving. Even if it didn’t quite work out the way you wanted it to. They will never know that it is not how you anticipated it would be…

Swimming in the lochs in summer.

Things to make this week: plum tart, marbled banana bread, chocolate wheaty biscuits.

‘The traditionally low number of women in non-fiction, especially history, invites many questions about the kinds of discourse we consider useful or true’. You need to read this. It is a fascinating account of hierarchy, ideas, and who has the right to say certain things. It is necessary to know if we want to see more things by women writers.

On inconspicuous consumption.

Food writers who teach us how to live.

Over the holiday I finished two books. The first, Floating, is a(nother) swimming memoir. Joe Minihane, the author, follows in Roger Deakin’s Waterlog footsteps, swimming his way around Britain, finding all of Roger’s swimming spots in an attempt to quell his anxiety and help his depression. Joe writes: “Nestled deep in this Dartmoor valley, […] I remembered that true escape was the essence of wild swimming: escape from needless worries and anxieties, from fear, from being hassled“. I loved this book. It is honest about a struggle with mental health issues, and working to find various solutions to help them – be it swimming in the wild, or the community that develops around the swimming, or the meditation of swimming. Swimming memoirs have framed my year this year, and helped me encounter the water in a new way. (Including a fairly long swim at the weekend, in a lake where the water temperature was 15C!)

The second book I finished was actually a re-read of something I first read as an undergraduate, The Bone Woman. This is the story of a forensic anthropologist’s experiences of mass graves in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo. It makes for hard reading but I think it is important to find out about what happens to bring justice to families after a war.

Back-to-school food guide and a fall dinner guide.

If you read nothing else, read this Twitter exchange between the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. Sheer brilliance.

That is it for this week chaps! Have a good one! x

Reading List (5/9)

Oh hello September, “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Glorious crisp mornings. Frost. Changing leaf colours. This is my favourite time of year.

 

And appropriately, here is the first (of what will be many) lists of cookbooks that are coming out this autumn. Mostly I felt meh about this list, with a few notable exceptions (hello Modernist Bread, Mossimo Bottura, and Sweet by Ottolenghi and Goh).

A list of food studies journals.

Olia Hercules has a new cookbook out – Kaukasis. It looks beautiful.

On composting.

Feminist thrillers, with a contemplation on the roles of men/women in crime novels.

It is academic conference season. So this morning naturally I have read two different articles on the point of conferences, and the expense!

American diners.

Zero-waste supermarkets.

Finding your dream by reading Gourmet.

Ancestors.

Last week I attended a new community event: Walk Talk Notts. It is a group of people who gather on the last Wednesday of each month to walk and talk about things. It is generally sustainability related so last week we visited Hockley Homegrown. This husband/wife team grow a wide variety of unusual veggies right in the heart of the city. They work with local restaurants and cafes, as well as selling directly to people. The one garden site we visited was just lovely! (And super inspiring for ideas as I bring my allotment back from the wild!)

 

As I mentioned yesterday, in my 52 Weeks of Sourdough post, we visited Small Food Bakery on the weekend. While there, we ate their samples of pain au chocolat, all filled with different chocolates. (For the record SFB, my favourite was number 2!) They were delicious. And Green Haus had a pop-up shop in the bakery too so I may have purchased new house plants that are a delight.

 

Kitchen garden goals.

Really rather beautiful hotels, if money is no object. A girl can dream…

For Louisa, chicken-fried steak!!!

Nicole Krauss on her new book, Forest Dark. On my list of things to read.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (22/8)

Greetings from Copenhagen!

CPH

If movie directors made food films. Brilliant.

The comfort of tea rituals. I particularly love the description of office tea habits. Totally true!

Ice cream sodas. Personally, a cream soda float from Wimpy (particularly in the middle of a road trip) will always have my heart.

Remembering a friend with a coordinated dance in a pool.

Glorious old collections of wallpaper. (Thanks Jo for finding this!)

Aubergines, tomatoes, ricotta. Really the best things for a summer dinner. Or, this zucchini pasta.

Trends in grocery shopping and meal-making.

I do so love a rice krispie square.

A handmade Oreo.

Artisan food products, ‘craft culture‘, and race. You need to read this.

New book on Andalucia, from Elisabeth Luard.

With the new biography, there is a lot of writing about Patience Gray at the moment. (I picked up the TLS in the airport on Sunday and so read this too. You can read it online only if you’ve got a subscription.)

Slablova!

On eclipses.

It is no longer just about apple cider. And why you should add water to your whisky.

Last week I finished The Last Painting of Sarah de Vos. My sister and I read it almost simultaneously, and so shared thoughts about it on Saturday. We both enjoyed the story and the characters, but did think there would be more mystery and searching involved. I did wolf it down though, and particularly loved the character of Marty de Groot as an old man.

Have a good week! x

 

 

 

Reading List (15/8)

Summer Notts

I just loved this description of French markets in the summertime.

Cormoran Strike is coming to the BBC! Whoop!

This pie. On huckleberries. The pictures of all these different pies. Drool.

The atmosphere is listening. Read this!

I finally got around to listening to Samin Nosrat on Radio Cherry Bombe this weekend. I totally have a chef crush on Samin. She just sounds like the kind of person I want to be friends with. She is now also a new columnist for the NYT magazine and has a list of the cookbooks that shaped her as a cook and a writer.

Chefs on the foods, mentors, and meals that influenced their cooking.

I love these photographs, contrasting college first-years with their final year selves. I wonder how I would’ve said I had changed at that point?

Rare cooking books.

The truth about glamourising chef work.

Two vice chancellors talk about the challenges facing early career academics.

Trying to decide what to eat in an incredibly noisy media environment. A doctor is criticising the medical advice on Goop.

A review of a new book on food conquests of the British empire. Some interesting criticism is drawn on the use of language, and how this perpetuates ideas of the empire.

New website find. This is both hilarious and true, all at once.

I listened to an episode of the Guilty Feminist (I just love them, and they make me laugh out loud, often when I’m walking in the street so other people look at me awkwardly and I just think yeah!) called Intrepid Women and now I want to read the book they were talking about – women resisting the Nazis in occupied France.

Have a good week! x

Reading List (8/8)

I am deep into book writing at the moment so I am not doing a lot of reading except that required for my own work. That said, I did do some reading over the weekend. And yes, I realise it is Thursday but I was finishing a draft on Tuesday that took until well into the early hours of Wednesday morning so that is why!

On a side note, I finally made it to Tough Mary’s Bakehouse and bought all of the croissant-based pastries. Their almond croissant! My god. I will be back for more on Saturday I think.

Judith Jones passed away last week, at the age of 93. I love her book on cooking for one. I refer to it whenever I need to make something small, or need to be reminded of why I should cook for myself. Her memoir, The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food, is also fantastic.

Growing food in NYC.

Loving someone and learning about their food culture and traditions. This is something I experience daily, learning things from the Spaniard that I never knew, or thought to try, or consider important. He regularly challenges my palate with strange foodstuffs and our grocery cupboard has a tuna supply to outlast an apocalypse, because tuna forms such an important part of his food/culture identity.

Related to that, I started reading (again, having begun the book ages ago) When in French: Love in a Second Language. This is the story of Lauren (the author) falling in love with a Frenchman, and then moving to Geneva and having to cope with French as the language of daily life. I relate so much to this, even though we currently live in England (and I therefore do not have to navigate my daily life in a language not my own), much of my life is spent trying to understand Spanish. Not only the actual language (which I have been totally useless at learning this year) but the culture and traditions that come with the language.

I love this blog. There hasn’t been a post for ages but I am so happy when one appears in my inbox!

A glorious looking place to swim.

This just looks like the most magical book ever.

And some sobering news: the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest it has ever been.

I haven’t made any galettes yet this summer (hah! what summer?) because I haven’t been mobile enough. But now, as I return to a normal-ish day, I am starting to return to the kitchen. Last night I managed to make pizza. So galettes seem not far off! This savoury one with sweetcorn and tomatoes looks mouthwatering. And I do love a summer fruit galette.

A peanut butter and jam sandwich as a way to fit in.

Have a good week! x