in the car: Kitchen Confidential
À bas la gas prices [pardon my French]. Mr. Bibliotonic and I are the team managers for Son #1’s soccer team, and, as such, need to be at all his games. The away games are in far-flung East Metro suburbs so we spend quite a bit of time in the car, which is, for me and Mr. Bibliotonic, a perfect read-aloud opportunity. At the moment, I’m reading Tony Bourdain’s first literary success, Kitchen Confidential. Back in 2000, I was given a manuscript of Kitchen Confidential to read in preparation for selling it to bookstore buyers. I knew we had something well written and entertaining, but I had no idea the book would hit the NYT bestseller list or that Bourdain would become a household name as a result. This collection of essays is one part memoir, one part no-holds-barred professional chef expose. Bourdain is foul-mouthed, funny, and honest as he explores his career in the kitchen, as well as all the characters involved in running a restaurant.
in the den: Hens Dancing
I’ve read about a quarter of this delightful British comedy of manners, a classic example of what we called—when I was repping at St. Martin’s Press in the days before chicklit was its own genre—women’s fiction. Raffaella Barker's novel, Hens Dancing, is set in romantic rural England and features a mother of three, whose husband has recently left her. The story is told in journal form, which allows for reading in chunks.
on my bedside table: Petite Anglaise
Plain and simple, this is a memoir of a blogger. Catherine Sanderson is a Brit living in Paris with her French boyfriend (Mr. Frog) and their daughter (Tadpole). Sanderson started blogging in 2004, detailing the frustration with her relationship and her subsequent affair. I know that she will lose her job for blogging at work, but I haven’t gotten that far in the book yet. It’s a quick, juicy read.