|Reading Room at the British Museum|
Two great books or rather, memoirs, that I would recommend to anyone are Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg and Just Kids by Patti Smith.
Homemade Life is a collection of heartfelt stories with recipes from the blogger behind the gorgeous food blog Orangette, and I have to confess to reading bits and pieces of it on my lunch break (a broke girl's gotta do what a broke girl's gotta do) before finding it on the $3.99 table last week and greedily snatching it up before anyone else could get to it. I was hoping to find some good recipes like she features on her blog, and she delivered that and so much more. Each chapter is a little vignette from her life, followed up with a recipe from that period, from growing up in Oklahoma to when she lived on her own in Paris after college, and meeting her husband. I found myself crying actual tears in public at some parts of it, but it's also quite funny at times. I loved how she connects food with her loved ones, and how she tells the story of coming into her own through her relationship with cooking. It's so well-written and original, all the food sounds delicious, and you come out of it feeliing like you've made a new friend. A new friend who's a really great cook, and aren't those the best kind of friends to have? I was so excited to read that she has a new book, Delancey, coming out in 2013.
So much praise has been heaped on Patti Smith's book Just Kids, all of it totally deserved. It is just a gorgeous book. I'd been dying to read it for ages and I finally cracked and bought the paperback. Best move I've made in quite some time. Devoured the book in a couple days, then went back and read it all over again. Anyone who ever felt like an outsider, anyone who's a fan of her music, anyone who loves that whole New York in the Sixties and Seventies era, anyone who is trying to find an outlet for their creativity, anyone for that matter, should read this book. It's a much a love story to youth and the struggle to find oneself as it is the story of her relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The way they found themselves in the middle of such an amazing, creative time surrounded by such great artists is so magical you find yourself agreeing with Patti when she describes it as the universe providing for them. I can't stop thinking about their story and how bravely she puts it all on the page.
While Patti and Molly couldn't be more different in their approaches, their books are both great inspiration for me in the whole, young(-ish) woman coming of age arena. Definitely worth checking out. Read any good books lately? Always on the lookout for something great to read.