Next book

BON APPÉTEMPT

A COMING-OF-AGE STORY (WITH RECIPES!)

Whether Morris is deconstructing her failed attempts at finding satisfying work, struggling with rocky family relationships...

A refreshing take on growing up and coming to terms with the joys and travails of family, career and navigating the kitchen.

After moving from the East Coast to hypercompetitive Los Angeles, Morris felt stymied by her lack of success as a creative writer and her husband’s failure in the film industry. But on Christmas Day, after attempting a complex chocolate cake recipe, which failed spectacularly, the author concluded that hard work doesn’t always translate into success. More importantly, for the first time, she understood that failure is just another part of growing up. Following the cake disaster, Morris moved on from resenting the images in slick cooking magazines and began blogging about her own culinary exploits, comparing her creations with those in cooking magazines. What began as a “novelty hobby” became a source of pleasure. “I enjoy the whole process—from grocery shopping to eating the results, and even, on some days, in the repetitive nature of washing the dishes at the end of the night,” she writes. In addition to chronicling her culinary adventures, Morris also dissects her often bumpy family relationships. After submitting an essay about cooking with her elderly grandmother and having it rejected, Morris posted it on her blog; it eventually won “ ‘Best Culinary Essay’ in Saveur magazine’s food blog awards.” Throughout the book, Morris couples significant life events with recipes that recall memories of that time. When her parents divorced and her mother moved to Pittsburgh, Morris recalls her cooking chicken cordon bleu; upon returning home from a trip to Paris, the author craved miso ramen with a poached egg; and the first meal the author made sans recipe was rice and black beans in coconut milk with avocado.

Whether Morris is deconstructing her failed attempts at finding satisfying work, struggling with rocky family relationships or experiencing a culinary failure, she adroitly blends the ingredients of humor and self-reflection.

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1455549368

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Categories:
Next book

INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

Next book

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

FROM MEAN STREETS TO WALL STREET

Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview