A warmly engaging culinary memoir.

HOW TO COOK A MOOSE

A CULINARY MEMOIR

An award-winning novelist’s account of the unexpected fulfillment she found in New England, living, loving, cooking, and eating “at the end of the world.”

In this exuberant, unabashedly gourmand-esque follow-up to Blue Plate Special, Christensen celebrates the land, food, and people of Maine. The state became her home after she and her partner, Brendan, decided to leave a beloved New Hampshire farmhouse owned by the Fitzgerald family and buy a house of their own. They settled in the quietly cosmopolitan city of Portland, where they discovered restaurants that, in their excellence and diversity, rivaled those in larger cities like New York. As she got to know actual Mainers, Christensen also found herself appreciating their unpretentiousness and rugged individualism, and she admired their “quiet work ethic…that is somehow never puritanical or self-righteous, as well as the lack of judgment, the mind-your-own-business attitude, and the fierce pride of place.” This was especially true where food was concerned. Despite the state’s short growing seasons and long winters, Mainers took pride in keeping their food—whether from the land or sea—local and in season. Christensen’s interest in her new home and, in particular, its cooking traditions led her to explore Maine history and learn the personal stories of the chefs, fishermen, hunters, and farmers who wrested plenty from the rocky soil and fierce ocean. Her enthusiasm for her adopted home and its ethos of sustainability is as abundant as the lovingly crafted descriptions of stunning landscapes and mouthwatering meals—the recipes for which Christensen includes in the book—she and her partner prepared together in their kitchen. The heartbreak and personal drama that characterized Blue Plate Special is absent in this book. Christensen is eating well, in love, and radiating the “quiet internal daily joy of living in a culture based on authenticity and integrity.”

A warmly engaging culinary memoir.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-939017-73-4

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Islandport Press

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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