blaise's book feast

Un amuse bouche de la litterature

Tag: food


With the profusion of boutique magazines lately, there is a lot of content to comb through.  My favorites remain a couple of the originals, Lucky Peach and Kinfolk.  Both have summer issues out right now, which are perfect to read on the back porch in the late summer sunsets.  This issue of Lucky Peach is a pirate’s chest of ocean themed food.  There is a touching essay by Anthony Bourdain, who makes regular appearances in the magazine, along with editor David Chang.  The Kinfolk summer issue is similarly dedicated to the sea, seaside gatherings and great food.  So sit down in the fading rays, imagine your toes in the foaming ocean, and get inspired to make yourself a lobster roll.




Les Bon Mots

Jasmine and Fire by Salma Abdelnour

Ms. Abdelnour was born in Beirut and emigrated to the US as a child. She enjoyed a success as a writer in NYC, but always had the desire to return to Beirut to live for good. She packed her bags, took an epic flight, and arrived in the Beirut that she had remembered, minus some scars from the civil war shelling. Salma easily falls into the routine of frenetic Beiruti life, connecting with friends and family, keeping up with the city’s famed club scene, and regaining her mastery of Arabic. The strength of this book is the sensory path that Ms. Abdelnour leads her readers on; you can smell the mint rising up from freshly brewed tea, you can taste the sugar granules on her favorite pastries and you can see the vast Mediterranean from the waterfront near her house. The book was slightly too self-centric for me, as there was much agonizing over feelings, but in the end it was a lovely portrait of an intriguing city. Notably, the author supplies Lebanese recipes at the end. We made the baba ghanoush. It was great.

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo

Pulitzer prize winning Richard Russo brings us a story about middle age ennui, love, and loss which is set in successive transient, ephemeral Cape Cod summers. Dysfunctional family dynamics are smartly explored and difficult love is deftly analyzed. Particularly touching is the protagonist’s remembrance of a childhood summer on the Cape.