A tempting and helpful guide to delectable food.

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IN A FRENCH KITCHEN

TALES AND TRADITIONS OF EVERYDAY HOME COOKING IN FRANCE

A warm invitation to the French table.

Copper pots hanging over a stove, thyme and rosemary growing in the garden, a boulangerie open every day of the week: these are a few of the reasons Loomis (Nuts in the Kitchen, 2010, etc.) loves the French way with food. Her latest culinary offering is partly a charming account of daily life in Louviers, a small town northwest of Paris where Loomis has lived for 20 years; and partly advice for buying, preparing, and serving the fresh and bountiful food that she and her friends eat every day. Although Loomis buys some supplies at a supermarket, most of her shopping occurs at the butcher’s, baker’s, and farmers market in her neighborhood. “There is a charming intimacy about the interactions in these food shops,” she writes. “I never tire of it. For a minute, at least, while you’re discussing a cut of meat, a type of cheese, the very best clementine, you are part of the social fabric of the entire country.” Families connect over the meals they share three times per day, and there is no such thing as eating on the run; even breakfast is “a quick but rich moment to gently emerge into the day.” While most adults partake of coffee and toast, many families serve breakfast cereals for their children, all sweetened. The French have a sweet tooth, including desserts with each meal and “an emergency chocolate bar” for a pick-me-up during the day. The author provides a list of essential kitchen tools, a glossary of breads and cheeses, a chapter on cooking techniques (e.g., making mayonnaise, buerre blanc, confit, and pastry), and even a list of online sources for special French ingredients. Loomis also shares scores of recipes from her own repertoire and those of her friends, including a 12-month meal plan based on fresh, seasonal ingredients.

A tempting and helpful guide to delectable food.

Pub Date: June 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59240-886-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gotham Books

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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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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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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